You can almost taste how good this will be, just by scanning the title. Sweetness, acidity, spicy heat and smoke are all combined with the tenderness of this delicate seafood.
Speaking of, this is one scallop recipe that does not rely on getting a picture-perfect sear on both tops and bottoms. It is far more important to monitor their cooking; when they are just done, they will become opaque and should feel a bit springy when pressed with a fork or finger.
Start to finish, this dish should take about 15 minutes.
Serve with a salad and crusty bread.
Flesh of ½ fresh ripe pineapple, cored and cut crosswise into ½ -inch slices
3½ ounces cured/cooked chorizo, cut into small pieces
12 small-to-medium dry-packed scallops, patted dry (see TIPS)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, or more as needed
2 scallions (white and green parts), cut into ¼ -inch slices
Coarsely ground black pepper
Juice of ½ lemon
Prepare a gas grill for direct heat, on medium-high (450 degrees). Grease the grate with cooking oil spray.
Add the pineapple slices; close the lid and cook for a few minutes, until slightly darkened and char marks form. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into small chunks.
Place a cast-iron skillet over the grill’s direct heat. Once it’s quite hot, add the chorizo and cook (uncovered) for about 6 minutes, until some of its fat is rendered (an orange-tinged oil) and the chorizo is slightly charred on the edges. Do not let the chorizo burn; stir it a few times and move the pan off direct heat, as needed. Use tongs or a fish spatula to transfer the chorizo to a plate, leaving its rendered fat in the pan.
Add the scallops to the pan; cook undisturbed and uncovered for 30 to 60 seconds — you’re looking for a brown sear on the bottom edges — then add the butter to the pan. Quickly turn the scallops over and baste them with the just-melted butter. Cook for another 20 to 30 seconds, then add the charred pineapple and rendered chorizo to the pan, along with the scallions and a pinch of the pepper. Squeeze the lemon’s juice over the mixture, then immediately remove from the heat.
Divide among plates, including any pan juices; serve right away.
NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS | Per serving (based on 3) 330 calories, 27 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 15 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 1180 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 27 g sugar
Use fresh, dry-packed scallops here, which look slightly off-white and have not been soaked in a sodium solution. The recipe can be done on the stove top as well, but you will lose some of that smoky flavor imparted by the grill.
Adapted from “Fire Food: The Ultimate BBQ Cookbook,” by Christian Stevenson (Quadrille, 2018).