Inspiration is everywhere. It’s in every dish you try or restaurant you visit. I am a believer that great dishes can be created at home with a little time and energy. Plus, it saves you a ton of money. You don’t need to eat every meal out to have amazing food and this dish is a prime example. It is hands down one of my new favorite dishes and a close runner up to my Blue Cheese stuffed Shrimp with Buffalo Sauce!
Each year our team at work celebrates the year by going out for dinner. This year, we were lucky enough to go to Northcoast, an amazing restaurant that serves contemporary American cuisine. It was a large restaurant, but felt very cozy with fireplaces and rooms separated by dividers, and comfy booths. The restaurant is on Wayzata Bay on Lake Minnetonka. Although the deck was covered in about 2 feet of snow, and the lake was frozen solid, I imagine this is an amazing place to visit in the summer and I plan to go back.
They had a lovely menu and we were able to sample a few appetizers including peppercorn filet bites, Maryland crab cakes, pork floutas and coconut shrimp. They were all excellent, but the pork floutas won me over. They were unique tasting and had a spicy chipotle puree drizzled on the plate that completed the dish.
Dinner was a hard decision for me. I couldn’t decide between the Blue Crab Gnocci, Asiago Crusted Walleye or the Seared Diver Scallops. I ended up ordering the scallops because no one else ordered it, and it was a dish I thought I might be able to taste and then re-create at home. It was beautifully presented and the sweet butternut squash paired with the seared scallops and salty chorizo was wonderful.
I couldn’t wait to use this dish as inspiration in my own home. Once again, my husband was the willing guinea pig and he happily tasted my creation.
Due to the season, I wasn’t able to find a fresh butternut squash. Instead, I used sweet potatoes, which have a similar consistency and flavor. Although this dish looks quite fancy, it was really easy to make.
If my husband and I were both to order this dish at Northcoast, it would cost us $48. That doesn’t include any appetizer, glass of wine or desert. I was able to re-create the dish at home for 2 people and it only cost me $24.
- Chorizo: Make sure to by the cured chorizo which can be eaten without cooking. Do not buy the fresh sausage chorizo which must be cooked before eating.
- Don’t use frozen scallops – seriously. Go to a reputable grocer or seafood vendor. My choice – Costal Seafood’s!
- Yes, these do stink up your house. Light a candle.
- Timing is important with this one. Scallops only take about 5 minutes to cook so make sure potatoes are done around the same time you start the scallops.
- If you don’t have a food processor, you can mix the potatoes with a hand mixer. They just won’t be as pureed as they would in a processor.
What you need: Serves 2 people
- 1 lb sea scallops
- 2 sweet potatoes
- ½ cup chorizo – diced
- ¼ cup red onion – diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic – diced
- 2 teaspoon butter
- Salt & Pepper
What you do:
- Pre-heat oven to 400. Cook sweet potatoes in oven for about 60 minutes, or until soft and cooked through. Meanwhile, follow below instructions for scallops.
- When potatoes are done, remove skin. Put potatoes into food processor with 1-teaspoon butter, dash of cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, salt & pepper to taste. Mix up until potatoes are a smooth consistency, set aside and keep warm.
- Dice chorizo, red onion & garlic – set aside
- Drizzle EVOO over scallops and season with Salt & Pepper – set aside
- On a Medium High stove top, add a drizzle of EVOO and 1 teaspoon butter to a pan.
- Add chorizo and onion – cook about 5 minutes or until chorizo is slightly crisp and onions are soft.
- Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove mixture from pan and put in small dish – set aside
- Add scallops to the same pan chorizo, onion & garlic was cooking in. Flip scallops ½ way through the cooking process so they are slightly browned on both sides and cooked through. Cook time will depend on the size of the scallop. Most scallops will take about 2 ½ – 3 ½ minutes per side. DO NOT overcook or the scallops will be rubbery. If scallop is cut in ½, it will be barely opaque – not translucent.
- Right at the end of the cook process, add the chorizo, onion & garlic mixture back into the plan with the scallops. This will allow those ingredients to be heated back up.
- Put pureed sweet potatoes in middle of the serving plate. Place scallops around potatoes and top with chorizo, onion & garlic mixture.