Scallops with vodka sofrito - a dish with a Mexican (and Russian) twist!
Being of Mexican origin, for years I never really never knew what sofrito was. I don’t recall my mom ever using that term when she referred to her cooking. But now I come to realize that she was preparing sofrito all along. A blend of tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic and herbs is what she used for many of her rice dishes and carnes guisadas. So I thought, why not for a seafood dish? It was absolutely delicious with a little smooth vodka and citrus in the mix; it turned out to be one of our favorite new dishes. In this recipe I served the scallops over roasted spaghetti squash instead of pasta for something a little different and light. So this is my version of sofrito with a little Mexican touch!
1cup sweet onions diced
1 green bell pepper finely diced
1 yellow bell pepper finely diced
2cups tomatoes diced
2 fresno peppers sliced
1 jalapeño pepper sliced
4cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup cilantro chopped, plus more for garnish
1 lemon juiced; plus more for garnish
salt to taste
2tablespoons olive oil
1pound bay scallops
1/8 to 1/4cup vodka to taste (I used Chopin Vodka)
4cups roasted squash spaghetti or your favorite cooked pasta
In the blender, add 1/2 cup onions, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, tomatoes, 1 Fresno pepper, jalapeño, 2 cloves garlic, cilantro, oregano, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse to blend, taste for salt then blend on high for a few seconds for a smoother sofrito.
In a large skillet, preheat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the remaining onions, garlic and sliced Fresno pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the sofrito from the blender and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add in the scallops, vodka and butter, stir to combine. Cook for just 3 to 5 minutes more, taste for salt. Serve over roasted spaghetti squash or your favorite pasta. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lemon wedges.