As the days grow colder, scallops are the silver lining: The lower the water temperature, the plumper and sweeter they get. Mike Wiley, co-chef and co-owner of Eventide Oyster Co., Hugo’s and the Honey Paw in Portland, Maine, will be serving them liberally from here on in.
For this recipe, Mr. Wiley tears barely cooked scallops into bite-size pieces and scatters them over a spicy smear of chipotle-hazelnut sauce. Jalapeño-apple slaw, cilantro and crushed tortilla chips balance the plate with freshness and crush.
Mr. Wiley and his partner and co-chef, Andrew Taylor, developed the one-sided scallop sear used here at the perennially packed Eventide. “If you’re slammed, you can just drop the scallops into a hot pan and not worry about flipping or basting,” he said. The technique guards against overcooking, the downfall of many otherwise promising shellfish preparations.
Various types of scallop will work in this recipe; ask your fishmonger what’s best at the moment. “That’s the beautify of tearing them—it doesn’t matter what size they are,” Mr. Wiley said. “Get the freshest for the best price.”