Scallops with Pineapple and Cucumber Salsa

Do you want the good news or the bad news?

The good news is my little theater company won a spot in the Minnesota Fringe Festival again this year! We’ve got a great show in the works – a musical revue of songs about growing up.

The bad news is we may not be able to do the show at all. Normally I fund the show myself out of my sorry-ass checking account. Times being the way they are, that’s not a possibility this year. My theatrical co-conspirators and I are planning to put up a fund-raising page on Kickstarter.com, and hopefully we’ll be able to raise the money we need by the Fringe withdrawal deadline in mid-March.

And so, in the coming months you might find cheap and easy casseroles and sandwiches in my galley kitchen as I prepare and scrimp and save for the festival. Hopefully this beautiful and elegant appetizer recipe will tide you over until I can get back to cooking hard-core.

Cucumber Pineapple Salsa

This scallop dish started off the final schmancy-town dinner I made for Mom and Handsome Greg before I threw myself into Fringe last year. Wonton skins are fried and shaped into crispy bowls to carry the seared scallops and spicy-sweet pineapple and cucumber salsa.

Continue reading for the Scallops with Pineapple and Cucumber Salsa recipe

Scallops with Pineapple and Cucumber Salsa
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Adapted from Paula Deen
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 4
Wonton skins are fried and shaped into crispy bowls to carry tender seared scallops and spicy-sweet pineapple and cucumber salsa.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 8 wonton wrappers
  • Salt, as needed
  • 1/2 cup peeled and diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple, drained
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 8 sea scallops
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the cucumber, pineapple, cilantro, onion, lime juice, lime zest, jalapeno, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  2. In a medium pot, bring 1 1/2 cups canola oil to 350 degrees F. Fry the wontons in small batches until they are brown and crispy, about 2 minutes. Use a large spoon to push down the center of the wontons as they fry, creating a bowl shape. Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel and season each with a bit of coarse salt.
  3. Rinse the scallops and pat them dry. Season them lightly with salt.
  4. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the scallops, without moving them in the pan until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. To assemble, place a scallop onto a fried wonton. Top with a tablespoon of the salsa.
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