Scallop Margarita with Tequila Ice

Menu Part: 
Cuisine Type: 

This dish is essentially a ceviche topped with granita, but dramatically presented in a stemmed glass and served with tortilla chips.


Tequila Ice
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp. lime zest
1/2 oz. tequila

Ancho Chile Paste
2 ancho chilies
1 cup orange juice

Scallop Margarita     
1 lb. fresh, dry, scallops, cut into 1/2 in. chunks
1 small red onion, julienned
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves picked and covered with a damp cloth
1 jalapeño, seeds removed, chili julienned
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 scallion, chopped
1 avocado, cut into cubes
1 poblano chile, toasted, peeled, seeds removed and julienned
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sour cream
2 seedless oranges, sectioned
3 limes, 2 cut into 6 slit rounds (save the last for squeezing)
Tortilla chips


  1. Prepare Tequila Ice: Combine sugar and water in small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add lime juice, zest and tequila. Stir well and pour into a flat container. (Liquid should be 3/4 inch deep.) Place in freezer for at least 6 hr., running a fork through mixture every hr. to loosen into ice flakes.
  2. Prepare Ancho Chile Paste: Remove stem and seeds from ancho chilies. Place in a small saucepan and cover with orange juice. Heat gently until chilies are soft. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
  3. Puree ancho chile mixture in blender, then strain through fine sieve. Mix orange sections with 1 tbsp. ancho puree, 2 oz. olive oil, salt and pepper. Store covered in refrigerator until ready to use.
  4. About 1 hr. before serving, prepare Scallop Margarita: Mix diced scallops, 1/2 red onion, pinch of cilantro and a pinch of jalapeno with lime juice. Cover and refrigerate, tossing scallops every 20 min. to ensure even marinating.
  5. After 45 min., taste a scallop to measure if it is “cooked” to your liking. Once cooked, strain out lime juice, separating scallops from cilantro, red onion and jalapeno in the process. 
  6. Place scallops in a large bowl and add remaining red onion, cilantro and jalapeno, along with scallion, avocado and poblano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and juice of 1 lime. Mix gently and season with more salt, pepper, olive oil or even lime juice to taste.
  7. For service: Divide scallops into 6 even portions. Place half of each portion in the bottom of a margarita glass Spread 1 tbsp. sour cream over scallops, followed by orange sections; top off with second half of scallop portion. Finish with a small scoop of tequila ice and garnish with lime slice. Serve with tortilla chips.
Source: RIS; photo courtesy of Laura Padgett

Additional Tips

Additional Tips

  1. Rub edges of each glass with lime and dip upside down in salt to coat rim.

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