Tender, sweet scallops are paired with a tomato-rich chickpea stew, here spiced with merkén, a traditional Chilean red chile spice mix made from dried ajè cacho de cabra, or goat’s horn chiles. This simple stew, from chef Juan Pablo Mellado Arana of Las Cabras, a soda fountain and restaurant in Providencia, Santiago, Chile, is ideal served with a hunk of crusty bread for dunking.
Featured in: All Eyes on Santiago
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. merkén or hot paprika
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 cup white wine
- 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained
- 1 (15-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 bay scallops
- 1⁄2 cup loosely packed arugula
- In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 12 minutes. Add the paprika, tomato paste, and garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until almost all evaporated, 12 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas, tomatoes, and 1⁄2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chickpeas to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over high until the skillet begins to smoke. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and then add to the skillet and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 3 minutes. Transfer the scallops to a plate and serve alongside the chickpeas. Garnish with the arugula and serve with bread, if you like.