Try doing fun date night IN meals after the kiddos go to bed. It saves money and it’s a great way to try a new recipe and some cocktails together. This Smoky Scallops recipe is easy, but seems super fancy!
This year, we’ve really been trying to make more time for date nights. We’ve found a few great babysitters to call when we have a chance.
But let’s be honest: it’s expensive to have a date. From the cost of the sitter to the food, plus drinks while you’re out it adds up! Date nights IN are a great way to connect with your partner, without breaking the bank. Just set a few rules: no just staring at the TV, limit phone time, etc. Try a card game or just sitting outside, enjoying the weather.
I love to head to our local market, Horrocks, that has a taproom to find some fun new local beers to try. They have aisles and aisles to choose from and you can buy single bottles or cans…or fill up a growler at the bar. At home, we set up our own flights and I scan the beer using the app Untappd so I can remember.
Here in the Midwest, fresh scallops are hard to come by, so I just grab frozen ones from Trader Joe’s. It’s a splurge item, perfect for a date night in. Plus, think about how much a plate of scallops would cost at a restaurant…WAY more than $14!
To defrost the scallops, keep them in the bag, but put them in a bowl in the fridge overnight. Rinse and drain, then place on a paper towel. You’re going to want them as dry as possible. They’re best cooked on a cast iron pan to get that nice sear on them. I love my new Ayesha Curry skillet, it’s a beautiful sparkly teal color!
I prefer to make my own corn tostadas, but store bought work too! The scallops are also delicious with a side salad or with other seafood–try shrimp and serve with a margarita! If you’re not a beer fan, these would pair well with a sweet white, like moscato. It would balance with the kick of spice so well.
This date night IN recipe idea is a perfect treat, especially paired with a margarita or white wine. Quickly seared scallops are placed on a homemade tostada with smashed avocado. YUM!
- 1 pound Jumbo Frozen Sea Scallops Try Trader Joe's!
- 1 teaspoon each Mexican chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and paprika
- 2 whole avocado
- 1/4 cup white onion finely chopped
- 1 whole Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno (optional) seeded and chopped
- garnish: cilantro
- fresh corn tortillas
- 1 whole lime juiced
If scallops are frozen, defrost overnight in the bag, in a bowl. Rinse and drain scallops, patting dry with paper towel. You want them as dry as possible.
In a small ramekin, combine all spices. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mash avocado. Mix in lime juice, onion jalapeño and tomato. Season with salt and pepper. Put in fridge until time to eat.
Heat a medium skillet, preferably a cast iron, over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Allow to heat until shiny and rippling.
Season scallops with spice mixture, tossing to coat. Place in hot skillet in a single layer. Allow to cook for about 4 minutes on each side. DO NOT flip until they easily come off the pan. Season lightly with kosher salt.
Toast corn tortillas over an open flame, until crispy like a tostada.
To assemble: Spread guacamole over tostada. Top with 4 scallops and a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve immediately.
You can easily make this recipe into tacos or just use shrimp for the whole thing. The spice mixture is perfect for any protein–try pork medallions or chicken cutlets, too!
Fun date night IN drink ideas:
Have you tried a date night IN? What did you do?