Seared Scallops with Chorizo and Potatoes

Rick Bayless

Topolobampo, Xoco, and Frontera Grill; Chicago, IL

This recipe is "a nice combination of flavors and textures," says chef Rick Bayless. "You've got the meatiness of the chorizo with all its spices and tang, and then the richness of the scallops and creaminess of the potatoes.

"I don't like scallops that are very cooked," he adds, "so I get the skillet really hot and sear them on the outside and still leave them slightly translucent on the inside—that's where I think they shine texturally and flavor-wise."

Wild-caught sea scallops from the U.S. Atlantic are on the Seafood Watch yellow, "Good Alternatives" list.


6 to 8 servings


  • Salt
  • 1 pound red-skin boiling potatoes (about 4 medium), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound scallops
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo sausage (about 1 1/2 cups), casing removed
  • 4 large green onions, roots and withered outer leaves trimmed off, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Corn tortillas (optional)


To make the potatoes, half fill a 4-quart saucepan with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to boil. Add the potatoes and simmer over medium heat until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain.

To make the scallops, pat them dry with paper towels. Heat a 12-inch skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. (For best results, choose a skillet or griddle that is heavy and nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron.) Add the oil and, when quite hot, add the scallops in an uncrowded layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sear, turning occasionally, until golden, about 2 minutes total. (With high heat, the scallops will sear without overcooking.) Transfer the scallops to a wide plate and set aside.

Place the chorizo and green onions in the skillet. Cook over medium heat, breaking up any clumps of chorizo, just until sausage has rendered its fat, 6 to 7 minutes.

Add the drained potatoes and continue cooking, occasionally scraping up any sticky bits, until the potatoes begin to look crusty-brown, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the scallops into pieces that resemble the diced potatoes.

When the potatoes are browned, add the scallops. Mix everything together as the scallops heat for a minute or so.

Scoop the mixture into a serving bowl and set before guests. For tacos, serve with corn tortillas.