This post was sponsored by Altos Tequila. All opinions are mine alone.
Zesty, buttery tequila lime pasta with seared scallops is a quick and easy dinner for weeknights and beyond. Perfectly seared scallops are easier than you may ever think!
Growing up in the second largest landlocked country in the world, Mongolia, I don’t really know where I developed my love for seafood.
I can’t even think of any seafood that I don’t like. From seared salmon to rainbow sushi, from lobster to raw oysters, I LOVE them all!
One thing I definitely know is that my love for seafood has sprouted from my love for travel.
You see, I’ve always been adventurous and I never say no to new experiences. That’s probably how I fell in love with all things seafood. One of the most precious memories is our snorkeling trip in Belize, when our guides, two local men, made us fresh conch ceviche right on the boat. You’d think anyone in their right mind would simply decline such a risky treat that was made with freshly caught conch and without any proper utensils. But it was the most delicious appetizer I’ve ever tasted to date. And I’m still alive!
Anyhow, I try to cook seafood at least once a week now. Though salmon is a staple in our house, sometimes we love splurging on gorgeous plump scallops!
Velvety soft inside and golden crisp on the outside, seared scallops are quite a treat! With just couple tips, you too can serve perfectly seared scallops on a busy weeknight, or impress your dinner guests.
Tips for success:
- Thoroughly dry the scallops with paper towel before seasoning. If you add watery scallops into the skillet, you’ll simply steam them instead of searing.
- Heat the skillet nice and hot before adding the scallops. This is the most imperative step for perfect sear!
- Don’t flip the scallops too soon, or you’ll risk leaving a chunk of it on the bottom of the skillet.
- And you don’t want to cook them scallops for too long either, because there’s nothing worse than overcooked, chewy, though scallops. Whatever you do, please don’t overcook them. About 2 minutes on each side is a good rule of thumb.
Now, for a complete meal, we’ll make the most delicious tequila lime sauce with brown bits from the scallops and then toss with angel hair pasta.
My goodness, imagine that zesty, buttery tequila lime sauce glazing each strands of pasta and velvety soft scallops! Heaven on the plate, I’m telling ya!
Tequila Lime Seared Scallops Pasta
- 6 sea scallops if frozen, thawed
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup tequila
- 2 garlic cloves pressed
- 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro chopped
- 4 oz 115gr angel hair pasta
- Wash the scallops under cold water. Thoroughly dry the scallops with paper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta.
- In a large cast iron, or stainless steel skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil over medium high heat. (I suggest using 12-inch skillet to give plenty of room for scallops.)
- Add the scallops to sizzling hot skillet making sure the scallops don’t touch each other.
- Sear the scallops for about 2 minutes without disruption until golden crust forms. If the scallops are stuck to the pan, that means they are not ready. Don’t force it.
- Using tongs, flip the scallops and cook the other side for another 2 minutes. The center of the scallops should be slightly translucent. Overcooking will result in chewy, rubbery scallops that no one would care for. Remove the scallops onto a plate.
- Cook pasta al dante, according to package directions.
- Remove the skillet in which you cooked the scallops from heat and carefully add tequila and lime juice.
- Over medium heat, add garlic and cook the sauce until it reduced by half, scraping up the browned bits from the scallops.
- Stir in the remaining butter and cilantro.
- Add drained pasta and toss to combine. Add scallops and serve immediately.