Just a few years back I would have never prepared anything like this for my husband. He was strictly a “frozen fish sticks” kind of guy. Something as exotic as seafood salad? Not a chance! The thought of eating fresh seafood was very foreign to him. Little by little, I introduced fresh seafood into our meals. One dish of bacon-wrapped shrimp and scallops and he never looked back!
I know that seafood can be expensive sometimes. For this ensalada de mariscos, or seafood salad, a small amount goes a long way. Often, I will grill or pan-sear my seafood the day before making this recipe. It’s much easier to slice when it’s cold and it mixes well without falling apart. Simply serve it with some avocado slices and tortilla chips or over your favorite rice. It's a tasty and light meal that can be served for lunch or dinner.
Bring the seafood to room temperature at least 20 minutes before cooking. Combine the Old Bay seasoning, chipotle, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Season the seafood lightly on both sides; set aside.
Preheat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat in a large skillet for a few minutes. Cook the shrimp and scallops for 3 minutes per side. The shrimp should be pink and the scallops should be opaque. Transfer to a plate to cool. In that same pan, add a little more oil and cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until flaky. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a small bowl, combine the red onions, red wine vinegar, 1/3 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of oregano. Stir well to combine and set aside. Let them marinate while you finish the rest of the recipe.
In a large bowl combine the tomato, garlic, hot pepper, cucumber, cilantro and parsley. Chop the seafood into bite-size pieces and fold into tomato mixture. Add the reserved onion mixture, hot sauce, lime juice and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir and taste for salt and pepper. Garnish with avocado slices and serve with tortilla chips, tostadas or saltine crackers.
Removing the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes and cucumbers will prevent your salad from having too much liquid. Keep the tomato pulp to prepare a fresh tomato sauce for your favorite rice dish.
Marinating the onion in the vinegar ahead of time will mellow out that strong onion flavor. I do this often when preparing fresh salsa or salads.