Scallop Margarita with California Avocado

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 Scallop Margarita with California Avocado

2011 California Avocado Commission Foodservice Chef Competition Winner: Entrees/Sides/Salads. RIS Lacoste of RIS Restaurant created this winning recipe for the 2011 California Avocado Commission Foodservice chef competition. Check out the demonstration video!


Serves: 4
  As needed  Tequila Ice
cup  sugar
cup  water
1 1/2  cups  freshly squeezed lime juice
Tbsp.  lime zest
1/2  oz.  Tequila
  As needed  Ancho chili paste
  ancho chilis
cup  orange juice
  seedless oranges, sectioned
  As needed  kosher salt
  As needed  freshly ground black pepper
  As needed  Salad
lb.  fresh, dry scallops, cut into 1/2 “ chunks
  small red onion, julienned
1/2    bunch cilantro, leaves picked and kept covered with a damp cloth
  jalapeño chili, seeds removed and finely julienned
  poblano chili, roasted, peeled, seeds removed and julienned
  ripe, Fresh California Avocado, peeled and cut into cubes
  scallions, chopped
cup  freshly squeezed lime juice
cup  the best extra virgin olive oil you have
cup  sour cream
  limes, 2 cut into 6 slit rounds, the rest for squeezing
  As needed  tortilla chips
  martini or margarita glasses

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados


This scallop ceviche is very easy to make. There are only two small projects to complete the day before:

  1. Tequila Ice:  Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy based sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and add the lime juice, zest and tequila.  Stir well and pour into a flat container the proper size to allow for a layer of liquid about ¾” thick.  Put into the freezer and allow at least 6 hours for it to be well iced.  Pass a fork throughout the ice about every hour to loosen the mixture and help create ice flakes.
  2. Ancho chili puree:  Remove the stem and seeds from the ancho chilis, place in a small sauce pan and cover them with orange juice.  Heat gently until the chilis are soft.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.  Puree all in a blender and pass through a sieve.  Mix the orange sections with 1 tablespoon of the ancho puree, 2 ounces of the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Keep covered in the refrigerator.  The extra ancho puree can be frozen in small packets for later use.

Mise en place is the key to the rest of this quick dish.

  1. One hour before serving, mix the diced scallops, ½ of the red onion, a few sprigs of cilantro and a few slivers of jalapeño together and cover with 1 cup of the lime juice.
  2. Cover and keep in the refrigerator. Toss the scallops every twenty minutes to make sure they are being evenly marinated with the lime juice.
  3. During that hour, prepare all of your ingredients as listed above. Also, prepare your margarita glasses by rubbing the edge of each glass with lime juice and then placing each glass upside down into a plate of kosher salt.
  4. After 45-60 minutes, check your scallops for doneness by tasting a piece and seeing if it is too your liking. Keep them in the lime juice longer if they are underdone or marinate them less the next time if they are overdone.
  5. When ready, drain the lime juice from the scallops and pick out the onion, cilantro and jalapeño.
  6. Place the scallops into a large bowl and add the poblano chili, jalapeño, red onion, scallion, cilantro, avocado, salt and pepper.  Add a good drizzle of the olive oil and the juice of the remaining lime.
  7. Mix gently and taste for acid/fat balance and adjust with more oil or lime juice or salt and pepper, if necessary.
  8. To arrange, separate the scallop mixture into six even portions. Place half of each portion in the bottom of each glass, spread a tablespoonful of sour cream over the scallops, followed by some marinated orange sections and then the rest of the portion of scallops.
  9. Top with a small scoop of tequila ice and place a lime round on the edge of each glass.
  10. Serve with tortilla chips on the side.

Watch Chef Ris Lacoste of RIS Lacoste Restaurant demonstrate how to make the Scallop Margarita with California Avocado

Ris Lacoste

Chef Ris Lacoste,Chef/Owner RIS Restaurant

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