Scallops al Mojo de Ajo

scallops mojo de ajo

Chef Jeff Smedstad at Elote Cafe in Sedona, Arizona creates food inspired by Mexico and his life. Scallops al mojo de ajo are scallops in a garlic sauce. Mojo de ajo sauce tastes bright, fresh and tangy, zesty, citrusy, garlicky, peppery, and slightly sour. You will taste the garlic, pepper, and slightly sour notes from the lime as they harmoniously blend with the aromatics.

Elote Cafe maintains its superior reputation because of its commitment to responsible sourcing of fresh, local, and seasonal food. The variety of peppers, in particular, used in their cuisine transforms the most mundane meats or vegetables into a rich and delicious local cuisine.

To make the scallops al mojo de ajo, olive oil is heated and flavored with onions and garlic. Then you add the scallops and sear and brown them slightly. Jalapeños are added to the onion, garlic, and scallop mixture and sautéed briefly.

Chef Jeff recommends adding half of a Mexican beer to the sauce. I used  Modela Especial. This pilsner lager-style beer is a little herbaceous with hints of honey and corn. You can use whatever your favorite brand of beer, preferably Mexican. Chef recommends drinking the remaining beer yourself.

A little lime juice is added to the skillet before removing the scallops.

This part of the sauce-making reminds me of the same method I employ when making a beurre blanc. When making a beurre blanc, white wine and other aromatics are reduced before adding butter. In this case, the beer and lime juice is reduced before adding the butter.

Once the sauce is reduced, whisk in the butter. Stir well until slightly thickened.

Finally, pour the creamy sauce over the cooked scallops. At this point, you can choose to garnish the scallops with diced tomatoes and cilantro if you wish. Serve immediately,

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