Seared Sea Scallops with Jalapeno Brown Butter and Mango Buttermilk Risotto is a lovely and flavorful dinner for two!
You’re looking at this right now and may be thinking….mango…..buttermilk…..in a risotto? And I’m saying YES! Mango and buttermilk in a risotto!
I’m a slight procrastinator. I tried to get this recipe to you before Valentine’s Day because it’s perfectly portioned for two, but in my world, stuff keeps stealing my attention and time….like my personal chef clients….like my newspaper gig….like the laundry….
All good stuff! Love my personal chef clients, the newspaper gig and laundry. Okay….laundry not so much, but clean clothes, towels and underwear make for a happy hubby!
So here it is, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day! You’re shaking your head again, however not too terribly many years ago, my husband and I visited Ireland. One thing I MUST purchase on a trip is a cookbook from where we are visiting. Some countries can be tough–never did find a good German cookbook in English on the trip we took in the fall.
I did, however, find two wonderful cookbooks on our trip to Ireland, one of them being Dublin Dining, New Recipes from Dublin’s Finest Chefs, edited by Paul Rankin, published in 2002. The inspiration for this dish is from a dish served at L’Ecrivain. We didn’t eat there, but it’s nice to see they are still in business if we ever want to go back to Ireland.
I pulled this cookbook off my bookshelf one day and thought….”Wow, haven’t looked at this one in a long time.” Flipping through it, I came to a recipe entitled West Coast Lobster with Mango and Buttermilk Risotto, Carrot and Ginger Froth and Lobster Oil. LOVE lobster and the restaurant recipe looks stunning, however, my mind immediately zeroed in on the risotto and how perfect it would be with seared sea scallops for an easy but impressive adaptation of the dish anyone can do at home. This cookbook proves Irish food is definitely NOT all corned beef and cabbage!
If you’re still unsure about the mango, the mild sweetness it adds to the risotto is similar to using butternut squash. The slight tanginess of the buttermilk plays perfectly off that mild sweetness. Add the richness of the scallops and the heat of the jalapeno browned butter and…. Mwaaahhhhh!
A few things to keep in mind about scallops:
- Be sure the scallops you purchase are not treated with chemicals in any way.
- Unless they are specifically labeled “diver” scallops (which are hand-harvested), they may contain some grit. Be sure to wash them well.
We had jalapeno browned butter remaining and served it over roasted Brussels sprouts. OMG.
I also quit procrastinating and am finally on Twitter! Would love to connect with you there!
Thank you and enjoy!
15 minPrep Time
35 minCook Time
50 minTotal Time
2-3 cups chicken broth (as needed)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup arborio rice
1 mango, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup full-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus shaved Parmesan for serving
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
JALAPENO BROWNED BUTTER
1 stick unsalted butter
2 jalapenos, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil (or as needed)
10 sea scallops, washed and patted dry
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan. Turn off heat and set aside.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large, shallow saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 5-6 minutes or until beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic, cook briefly (15 seconds) or until fragrant.
Add the rice and stir until translucent, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add chicken broth in 1 cup increments, stirring frequently until almost absorbed. Continue with second cup followed by third cup if needed. (Risotto should have a creamy consistency, not dry.)
Stir in mango, buttermilk and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Melt butter and jalapeno in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until a caramel color, approximately 5 minutes, being careful not to burn it. Set aside to let browned bits fall to the bottom of the pan.
Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Season sea scallops with salt and black pepper to taste. Place scallops in the pan and cook 2-3 minutes per side or until nicely browned, being careful not to overcook.
To serve: Place risotto on a plate. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese. Place scallops around risotto. Carefully pour browned butter over scallops, leaving browned bits behind. Serve immediately.