Buffalo scallop tortilla bites
A classic flavor combination is reinvented in this bite-sized appetizer. Seared scallops are served with carrots and celery to round out this updated version of a popular party dish. We prefer Frank’s Red Hot, but feel free to choose your own favorite brand.
Blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese, plus extra for garnish
1 pound sea scallops
1/2 cup hot sauce
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons canola oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Tortilla chips, for serving
1 cup shredded carrots, for garnish
1 cup thinly sliced celery, for garnish
- Make dressing. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise and white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Stir in blue cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Prepare scallops. Remove any rough, crescent-shaped muscle from outside of scallops and discard. Pat scallops completely dry. Cut each scallop in half horizontally. Season one side of each with salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, whisk hot sauce, white wine, lemon juice, and tomato paste until combined. Set aside.
- In a large nonstick pan, heat oil until it begins to shimmer or smoke a little. Place scallops in pan, seasoned side down, in a single layer. Cook 2-3 minutes without stirring or moving them, until bottoms begin to brown and caramelize (cook scallops in batches if necessary as to not overcrowd pan). Turn scallops over and cook another 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. To scallop pan, add hot sauce mixture and cook until warmed through and thickened, scraping browned bits from bottom, 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in butter. Cook until butter is completely melted. Finished sauce should be thick enough to coat back of a spoon.
- Remove pan from heat. Add scallops to sauce, tossing gently to coat on all sides.
- When ready to serve, top 1 tortilla chip with 1 scallop half, followed by a small dollop of dressing and a crumble of blue cheese. Top with a bit of carrot and a few celery slices. Top with a bit more crumbled blue cheese (if desired) and season with pepper. Repeat with remaining tortilla chips until of all scallops are used.
Makes approximately 20-24.
cook’s note: The easiest way to thinly slice the celery is by using a mandoline.