Seared Scallop Tacos
with Pico de Piñata


Seared Scallop Tacos with Jicama-Peanut Slaw
Callo de hacha con pico de piñata

Adapted From Just Tacos by Shelly Wiseman
Makes 10 to 12 tacos; Serves 3 to 4

This is a departure from classic Mexican tacos and is inspired by a chef of modern Mexican cooking, Enrique Olvera, who serves foie gras with this pico at his Mexico City restaurant, Pujol. It is called "pico de piñata" because many of the ingredients, the clementines, jicama, and peanuts, are things that a piñata is traditionally stuffed with.

For pico de piñata
1 cup diced (1/4 inch) jicama
1 cup diced clementines (2 large)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped chicharrón (fried pork skin) (optional)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 habanero chile, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt

For scallops
1 lb sea scallops, tough ligaments removed
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

Accompaniment: warm corn tortillas

Make pico de piñata:

Stir together all the ingredients in a bowl.

Cook scallops:

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot.

While the skillet is heating, pat the scallops dry and season them with salt.

Add the oil to the skillet and swirl to coat bottom. Immediately add the scallops, without touching and cook, without moving, until the undersides are browned, about 3 minutes (when the scallops are ready them will move when you shake the pan because their browed crust will release them from the pan). Turn the scallops over and cook until just cooked through, about 2 minutes more.

Cut the scallops into ½-inch pieces and make tacos with the pico de piñata.

Variation: Substitute popcorn shrimp for the scallops. Season with salt and sauté, stirring, until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.