Friday, June 29, 2012

Sauteed Scallops with Sweet Chili Lime Butter

While in Ireland recently I discovered that the Irish are obsessed with sweet chili sauce.  Obsessed may be a bit strong, but it seemed like it was on every menu we read and served as a dipping sauce for chips, or french fries to us Americans, to a condiment on all sorts of sandwiches.  I have to admit that I have used sweet chili sauce in the past, and liked it, but it was never a go-to ingredient.  

After discovering how fabulous the sweet, every-so-slightly spicy, sauce pairs with all variety of foods, I picked up a fresh bottle as soon as I landed stateside.  Thinking that it would be a perfect complement to seared scallops, I trolled the internet for something more formal than plopping some sauce on a plate and found this three ingredient little wonder on 

What a fabulous recipe!  In a matter of minutes you can have an elegant dinner that is easy enough for weeknights but special enough for the weekend.  I love working with compound butters.  They are such a simple way to amp up flavors.  Sweet chili sauce and a little lime zest are added to butter that is then used to sear the scallops and then serve as sauce. 

I love the buttery sweet softness that is a well cooked scallop and the sweetness of the sauce and the fresh hit of the lime are perfect with them.  This combination was pretty awesome, but I think the sweet chili lime butter would also be great with other seafood, chicken, or smeared over grilled corn on the cob. 

Sauteed Scallops with Sweet Chili Lime Butter

1 lime
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sweet chili sauce (I use Mae Ploy)
salt and pepper
12 sea scallops, side mussels removed, cleaned and patted dry

Finely grate peel from limes into small bowl.  Add butter and chili sauce to bowl.  Stir until well combined.

Season scallops with salt and pepper.  Heat a medium skillet over medium-hit heat.  Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and then add scallops.  Cook, without disturbing, and cook until opaque in center, about 2 to 3 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your scallops.  Do not overcook.

Dot remaining butter mixture over scallops and serve.
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  1. Looks absolutely delicious! I'm definitely trying these tomorrow evening...My husband has been out of town, he'll feel so special!

  2. mmm, yummy recipe, I have to try it, I;m obsessed with sweet chilli sauce either..

  3. Scallops are one of my favorite things when it comes to seafood! I'm too cheap to buy them very often though so they're pretty rare here. This recipe looks fantastic, I'll have to splurge this summer :)


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