Summer Party on a Plate: Grilled Sea Scallops, Guacamole, Mango Salsa, and Beets Orange Salad

Salad, Seafood Recipes, Vegetable Recipes

There are days when I get highly motivated. When they come, something like this materializes:

Party on a plate by Tiny Chili Pepper

Moved by a warm summer day with the perfect breeze, I went a little overboard with Wednesday’s dinner menu.  I wanted something light and colorful.  Grilled scallops, mango salsa, and guacamole immediately came to mind. But as I walked around the farmers market, I also got some beets (and a lot of other things!). I had never cooked beets before but I was curious about it.

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When I got home, I realized that I forgot to get cilantro for my mango salsa and guacamole. So, I substituted with green onions, which worked out quite well for both dishes—though I still prefer using cilantro. For this version of my mango salsa, I chopped 10 cherry tomatoes, two garlic, four cayenne peppers, and three green onions in a food processor. I added a little bit of lime juice and salt to the salsa before I mixed it with the mango slices. I also cut more cherry tomatoes, each into four pieces, and added them to the mango salsa.

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For the guacamole, I followed the recipe I wrote last year. The combination of creamy avocado with cumin, lime juice, salt, garlic, and onion made such a wonderful treat (cilantro would add a fantastic taste and aroma to it too). And it wasn’t hard to make at all! I like to have guacamole and mango salsa as side dishes for grilled fish as well.

Guacamole by Tiny Chili Pepper

For the sea scallops, I marinated them with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice from one lemon, salt, and pepper. After 15 minutes, I threaded the scallops onto the skewers (which I have soaked in water for about 15 minutes prior to using). It’s much easier to grill scallops this way. Then, I grilled them for about three minutes on each side.

Grilled Sea Scallops by Tiny Chili Pepper

I saw a recipe called Perfect Roasted Beets with Orange Slices in a magazine and was intrigued by it. I basically followed the recipe but did not have sherry vinegar so I went without. The result? The orange slices and juice gave sweet taste to the dish. But the beets’ earthy flavor was definitely something for me to get used to. Let’s see, maybe I could find a different beet recipe to try. Do you have one to recommend?

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Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Guacamole

Appetizer, Dip, Vegetable Recipes

A recent weekend trip to the dunes by Lake Michigan sent me home with plenty of food inspiration. One night at the cottage we rented, I saw my newly-wed-couple friends mashing avocados into guacamole on the kitchen’s island. They worked together like couple of scientists in a lab, immersed in the task at hand. I, on the other hand, stood nearby, watching, and waiting impatiently, like a little kid, eager to taste that avocado sauce. Ro added some salt to the cut up avocados, mashed them up, and tasted it. Then he added some onion, garlic, and lime juice. Zulma tasted it and she said it needed a bit more of something something. I was so hungry I couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying. It seemed like the mashing, adding things, and tasting continued on for a while before I could get my arms around the bowl of goodness. The couple’s hard work paid off though. They produced a fantastic guacamole.

After Jeff and I got home from the cottage, I couldn’t wait to try my friends’ guacamole recipe. Actually, I’ve made it twice in the past two weeks. The vibrant flavors of garlic, cilantro, onion, and jalapeno peppers mix so well together with the sweetness of the avocados. I am addicted to this sauce.

Chunky Guacamole

Or make it: Smooth and Creamy Guacamole. Either way is good for me 🙂

Here’s how I made mine:

(Serve 2-3 people)

  • 3 avocados
  • 1 handful of cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 3 garlic (finely chopped)
  • ½ sweet onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 jalapeno peppers (finely chopped)
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of Cumin
  • Lime juice from 1 lime

Steps:

  • Peel, cut up, and mash the avocados
  • Mix everything together in a bowl and then drizzle with lime juice
  • Serve with tortilla chips

Special thanks to Roneil and Zulma for the guacamole and the recipe