Scallops Veracruz

Mexico has almost six thousand miles of coastline—about half of the estimated total for the U.S.—but mollusks don’t seem to play a proportionate role in Mexican cuisine.

Kennedy includes a scallop cebiche in Cuisines of Mexico, but not any sort of one for oysters. This is not to say that oysters and scallops aren’t eaten in the country, simply that you’ll not find many recipes for them. But recipes for salt-water fish abound, and red snapper Veracruz (huachinango a la Veracruzana), a rich, colorful dish with tomatoes and chilies, is one of the most distinguished. This scallop recipe is a riff on that, lighter and more intense.

Thaw frozen scallops, squeeze and drain. Even fresh scallops are too watery for this dish, so sauté lightly until firm. Then drain, toss with pepper, a bit of salt and a light dusting of plain flour. Brown in the least bit of oil possible, then add by spoonfuls this salsa, and reduce. The dish should be pungent, piquant, and aromatic.

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