From Season 8, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
- Prepare the tomatillo base. Roast the tomatillos and chiles on a rimmed baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, until blotchy black and soft (the tomatillos will turn from lime green to olive), about 5 minutes. Flip everything over and roast the other side. Cool, then transfer to a blender or food processor, including all the delicious juice the tomatillos have exuded during roasting. Pulse a few times, then add the white wine and olives and process to a coarse puree.
- Finish the sauce. Heat the oil in a large (4-quart) saucepan over medium high. Once hot, add the garlic and stir until golden brown, about 1 minute. Scrape in the tomatillo sauce and cook until the mixture has reduced to the consistency of thick tomato sauce, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the epazote, cilantro and broth and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the consistency is like a light cream sauce. Taste and season with salt, usually 1 teaspoon depending on the saltiness of the broth. Keep warm until you’re ready to serve.
- Cook the bacon. While the sauce is simmering, heat a very large (12-inch) heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high. Add the bacon and cook until crispy and browned, about 10 minutes. Scoop out the bacon (leaving the bacon drippings behind) and drain on paper towels.
- Sear the scallops. Heat the skillet with the bacon drippings over medium-high heat. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt. When the pan is very hot, lay in the scallops. Saute until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until medium rare. Transfer the scallops to a warm plate.
- Finish the dish. In a small bowl, toss the arugula with the lime juice and sprinkle with salt. Ladle the warm tomatillo-olive sauce on the bottom of each of 4 warm dinner plates. Place three scallops on each plate and top with some of the dressed arugula. Sprinkle with bacon. You’re ready to serve.
I made this recipe today. Loved the sauce. Presentation lovely. But I felt the sauce really overpowered the delicate scallops. I will make it all again but I will try a crispy battered fish instead. Thank you for the inspiration!
Pamalla, I agree with you 100%. The sauce & presentation is lovely; but it was a waste for beautiful expensive sweet scallops. This sauce would work well for almost anything: chicken, white fish, pork or even enchiladas & chilaquiles. It was very delicious, I liked the green olive addition for a punch of flavor not usually found in verde sauces. Arugula is a favorite green of mine.
I made this tonight, it was wonderful the flavors was great , everything came together just right and I have some sauce left over to put on another meat . First time i made Rick recipe and it will not be the last