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What's Up Magazine

Southwestern Pan Seared Scallops

May 23, 2014 10:00AM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Kimberly Cooper // Photography by Tony Lewis, Jr.

Carrol’s Creek Waterfront Restaurant
410 Severn Avenue, Annapolis

Image titleCarrol’s Creek Waterfront Restaurant is steeped in Annapolitan history. From its name to location in the Eastport section of Annapolis, this dining establishment has a lot to live up to—and it does. The menu is laden with fresh, briny seafood of all sorts. Head Chef Ricardo Bello Serrano, a man with a passion for cooking, shares his ideas on food, local support, and gives us the details on his popular southwestern scallops.

Please tell us how you came to the restaurant?
I started working as a line cook for a couple of months and then the chef at that time, Warren McClaine, promoted me to sous chef. After holding that position for six years, I then became the head chef of Carrol’s Creek.

What made you choose a culinary career?
I have always enjoyed the flavors of food and trying to pair them together. Cooking is very relaxing for me and makes me very happy. Cooking is an amazing art.

What do you consider to be more important: local or organic?
Local, to help all the farmers around our area. The produce is going to be fresh all the time and I want the local workers to be supported, just like they support Carrol’s Creek.

How often do you change the menu at Carrol’s Creek?
Seasonally. We like to keep it fresh and new.

How did this dish originate?
I wanted to introduce my culture to this type of American cuisine at Carrol’s Creek. It has become a hit so far, being on the menu for four years.

What wine or drinks pairs best?
A nice Sauvignon Blanc like the Sancerre or Frog’s Leap would go very well with this dish.

What is the most important step when cooking it?
Not to overcook the scallops. They need to be pan seared perfectly. Just make sure the pan is really hot and not too much oil. If you put too much oil, you will fry them rather than sear them.


Southwestern Pan Seared Scallops
Serves 2

½ of a whole green pepper, diced
½ of a whole red pepper, diced
¼ cup of red onions
2 ripe avocados
1 lime
¼ cup of chopped white onions
2 Tbsp minced white onions
2 Tbsp of minced celery
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. chicken base
2 Tbsp corn starch
½ cup of grilled corn
½ cup of cooked black beans
2 Tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup of water
Touch of cumin
2 cloves of minced garlic
8 eight-oz dry pack scallops v-10
2 small fried tortilla shells
2 Tbsp of vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

The Guacamole
  1. Carve out the 2 ripe avocados in a bowl.
  2. Add the ¼ cup of diced red onions, ¼ cup of chopped fresh cilantro, and the juice of 1 fresh lime.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. You may add diced jalapeños if you like.

Black Bean Compote
  1. Sauté ¼ cup of chopped white onions and 1 clove of minced garlic.
  2. Add the ½ of a whole green pepper, diced, ½ of a whole red pepper, diced, ½ cup of cooked black beans, 2 Tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro, touch of cumin, 1 clove of minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste to the pan.
  3. Continue to sauté for a couple of minutes.
  4. Set this mixture aside.

For the Cilantro Cream Sauce
  1. Sauté 2 Tbsp of minced white onions, 1 clove of minced garlic, and 2 Tbsp minced celery for five minutes.
  2. Add 1 cup of the heavy cream and 1 tsp of chicken base to the sauté mixture. (you might have to add more base, just taste to see if you need to add more).
  3. Dissolve 2 Tbsp corn starch in ¼ cup of water and add to the cream sauce.
  4. Cook until the sauce becomes thickened under medium heat.

  1. Heat up your pan on high heat and add 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil.
  2. After the pan is hot reduce the temperature.
  3. Place the scallops in the pan and sear both sides for about 2 minutes each side.

  1. Ladle 4 Tbsp of the cilantro cream in the center of the plate.
  2. Place ½ cup of the black bean compote on top of the cilantro cream sauce in the center of the plate.
  3. Place four scallops around the compote
  4. Top the compote with your fried tortilla and place ¼ cup of guacamole on top of the tortilla.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and enjoy.