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Bobby Flay's Tex Mex Scallops


I’m a huge Bobby Flay fan. With the exception of his wife who he just cheated on, who isn’t? Major indiscretion aside, there’s a lot to like. On air, he comes off as a fun, genuine, good guy with a great sense of humor. Kind of guy I’d like to watch a ball game and have a beer with. His restaurants are outstanding. I’ve had delicious meals at Mesa Grill numerous times (NYC location now closed). And when it comes to his recipes, they’re practically foolproof, rarely needing improvements or tweaks.


Few things to know about this Flay scallop recipe. One, if you don’t like scallops, you can substitute any fish or meat. I recommend 4 oz. pieces of grilled Halibut. Two, if you want to save time you don’t need all three sauces. The original recipe calls for just the jalapeno pesto and the vinaigrette. I would keep the pesto and pair it with either the vinaigrette or the red pepper sauce. The round chip you see on top of the scallop is a piece of flour tortilla that I cut into a circle and fried. Did that for looks. This recipe is from the cookbook Grilling For Life.


Jalapeno Pesto



  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves

  • 6 jalapeno chiles, grilled or flame roasted over kitchen burner, peeled and chopped (see photos attached)

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

  • 1 T pine nuts

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/8 tsp pepper

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil



  • Flame roasting peppers is easy. Put a wire cookie cooling rack over your stove burner.

  • Place peppers directly over the burners and turn the flame to medium high.

  • You’ll need to rotate them a few times in order to blacken all the sides.

  • When done, place peppers in a small brown bag, close it and let them sit for 5 minutes.

  • Remove the black skin, stem and seeds.

  • Combine the cilantro, jalapenos, garlic, pine nuts, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. 

  • With the motor running, drizzle in the oil and process until emulsified. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and set aside. The pesto can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated.


Time: 25 minutes

Makes: Roughly 1 cup



Smoked Red Pepper Sauce



  • 2 grilled or flame roasted red bell peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped

  • ¼  small red onion, coarsely chopped

  • 2 cloves peeled roasted garlic (I simply sauté them in some oil until they’re brown)

  • 2 T red wine vinegar

  • ½  T honey

  • ½  T Dijon mustard

  • ½  T chipotle puree

  • Heaping 1/4 tsp Kosher salt

  • 1/8 freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup canola oil or olive oil



  • Flame roast peppers. See instructions above in Jalapeno Pesto.

  • Combine peppers, onion, garlic, vinegar, honey, mustard, chipotle and salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.

  • With the motor running, slowly add the oil and blend until emulsified.

  • Cook's Note: This classic sauce is great on grilled veggies, chicken, fish and steak.


Time: 35 min

Makes: Roughly 1.5 cups



Avocado Vinaigrette



  • 1 Ripe Avocado, halved, pitted, peeled & chopped

  • 1/3 cup lime juice (freshly squeezed is preferable)

  • 3 T red onion, coarsely chopped

  • 2 T water   

  • 2 tsp honey

  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin   

  • 1/4 tsp salt ( you can add more after blending ) 

  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper

  • 1/4 C  Extra Virgin Olive Oil (mild)



  • Combine all ingredients except Olive Oil in food processor and blend until smooth. 

  • With motor running, add oil in a slow drizzle and blend until emulsified. Adjust seasonings and add more salt if needed. If mixture is too thick, add a little water (tablespoon at a time) to a pourable consistency.


Time: 15 minutes

Makes: 1 cup



Sea Scallops



  • 16 large sea scallops (that’s for 4 people)

  • 2 to 3 T olive oil

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper



  • If grilling - Heat your grill to high. Brush the scallops on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the scallops until crusty, golden brown, and just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side.

  • If pan sautéing, no need to oil scallops first. Simply salt and pepper them. Heat 2T oil plus 1T butter in a 12“ nonstick pan. To prevent overcrowding use 2 pans - 8 scallops to a pan.

  • Sauté scallops on high heat for 2 minutes. Flip, cook another 2 to 2.5 minutes.

  • Serve 4 scallops per person on each plate.

  • Drizzle 2 T of the avocado vinaigrette or red pepper sauce over the scallops and top each scallop with a tsp of jalapeno pesto.


Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4



HEARTFUL RECIPE – One of our real food recipes that focuses on veggies, protein, healthy fats and/or healthy carbs and doesn't include gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, corn or peanuts.


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