Mango-Saffron Scallops

Mango-Saffron Scallops

Did you ever buy too many mangoes? No, I didn’t think so — but I did! Last summer, when I was just getting into canning in a big way, I wanted to make mango chutney. For canning safety, you have to use unripe mangoes. That’s because their acidity fades as they ripen, and the acidity is what prevents botulism. Very nasty, that botulism.  You don’t want it! I bought my mangoes a couple of days before I got around to making the chutney; by that time, one of them had ripened. Good thing I bought too many! I made my chutney (it was delicious), then went online looking for something to do with the ripe one. I found this recipe at https://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipe/saffron-scallops. I didn’t tweak it much, only substituting olive oil for the butter Rachel uses, using a bit less, and changing up the procedure just a little. Don’t get me wrong, I love butter. Maybe not as much as my niece did when she was a kid (rumor has it she used to eat it straight), but more than my doctors would approve of. But I’ve found that many recipes don’t lose anything by substituting olive oil, so I save the butter for recipes where it’s the star. Nor do I use extra-virgin olive oil for sautéing. The non-virgin stuff does just as well, if not better (it has a higher smoke point), and is much less expensive. Canola or vegetable oil works well, too. 

Scallops are one of my favorite seafoods, but only if they’re cooked properly. One of those things that if you want it done right, do it yourself. So many places overcook them. If you don’t like scallops because of their rubbery texture, then you’ve never had scallops done correctly. They should be slightly firm and very tender — never rubbery! Not an easy thing to accomplish for a crowd, so I usually only make them when it’s just the two of us. 

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Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

1 shallot

1 ripe mango

½ cup (120 ml) white wine

¼ teaspoon saffron threads

1 lime

pinch of crushed red pepper (“crushers”)

½ cup (120 ml) water

1 pound (450 g) sea scallops, patted dry

small bunch of fresh chives (I added a couple of chive blossoms)

Preparation:

1.) Crush the saffron threads with mortar and pestle. Set aside. 

Saffron

2.) Chop the mango for 1 cup (240 ml). Mince the shallot.

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3.) Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the minced shallot and cook just until translucent. 

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4.) Add the chopped mango and cook for about two minutes.

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5.) Add the wine and saffron. Cook another minute or so, until the sauce thickens and reduces a bit. Remove from heat. 

6.) Purée the mixture in a food processor, then transfer to a small pot or bowl. Grate the zest and squeeze the juice from half the lime, adding both to the pot. Stir in the crushers and water, and set aside. 

7.) Wipe out the skillet. Heat 1½ tablespoons of the oil over medium to medium-high heat. When shimmering, add half the scallops. Spread them out to avoid overcrowding. Brown both sides, cooking just until they become opaque. The ones in the front of the photo are done; those in the back still have a thin ribbon of pinkish opacity. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the last 1½ tablespoons of the oil and the rest of the scallops. 

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8.) Pour the mango sauce into the still-hot pan. Bring to a boil, scraping up all the yummy browned bits from the bottom. 

9.) Spoon the sauce onto individual plates, and place the scallops on the sauce. Snip the chives and sprinkle over all to serve. 

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Mango-Saffron Scallops

Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

1 shallot

1 ripe mango

½ cup (120 ml) white wine

¼ teaspoon saffron threads

1 lime

pinch of crushed red pepper (“crushers”)

½ cup (120 ml) water

1 pound (450 g) sea scallops, patted dry

small bunch of fresh chives

Directions

1.) Crush the saffron threads with mortar and pestle. Set aside.

2.) Chop the mango for 1 cup (240 ml). Mince the shallot.

3.) Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the minced shallot and cook just until translucent.

4.) Add the chopped mango and cook for about two minutes.

5.) Add the wine and saffron. Cook another minute or so, until the sauce thickens and reduces a bit. Remove from heat.

6.) Purée the mixture in a food processor, then transfer to a small pot or bowl. Grate the zest and squeeze the juice from half the lime, adding both to the pot. Stir in the crushers and water, and set aside.

7.) Wipe out the skillet. Heat 1½ tablespoons of the oil over medium to medium-high heat. When shimmering, add half the scallops. Spread them out to avoid overcrowding. Brown both sides, cooking just until they become opaque. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the last 1½ tablespoons of the oil and the rest of the scallops.

8.) Pour the mango sauce into the still-hot pan. Bring to a boil, scraping up all the yummy browned bits from the bottom.

9.) Spoon the sauce onto individual plates, and place the scallops on the sauce. Snip the chives and sprinkle over all to serve.

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