The last time I made scallops, I bought them fresh and wrapped them in bacon, but was a little disappointed in the outcome because they were filled with grit! This time I went the frozen route, hoping that the package process included some filtering of all the sand. Going frozen paid off this time! (Although the drawback was teeny-tiny scallops, instead of the jumbo variety that I really wanted.)
Scallops taste best when cooked simply, in my humble opinion. A little butter, salt and pepper and 2-3 minutes per side of intense heat is all they really need to be carmelized, tender, sweet and delicious. This recipe highlights the simple scallop, on top of a impressive bed of fresh homemade creamed corn. What a perfect summertime dinner!
SEARED SCALLOPS with WARMED CREAMED CORN SALAD
1 lb jumbo sea scallops (or about 5-6 scallops per person)
8 ears of corn, shucked
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 celery ribs, finely diced
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp fresh basil, torn
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Shuck corn, and gently cut corn off the cob into a large bowl. Melt 3 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add corn, pepper, onion, carrots and celery and cook until onions are translucent and vegetables are crisp tender. Add cream and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook until cream reduces slightly, stirring occassionally. Directly before service, add basil.
Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 tbsp butter with olive oil in a skillet. Rinse and dry scallops, and season with salt and pepper. Place seasoned scallops in skillet, and cook approximately 2-3 minutes on each side until the scallops are golden brown. Remove from heat and serve alongside, or on top of warmed corn salad.
There is nothing better than fresh picked local corn! I eat it raw and cooked, and this application was nice and light, but satisfying in a vegetarian kind of way. The red pepper flakes added just a bit of punch in the background and the carrots and green bell pepper provided the color that made this dish pop. I wish my photo did this meal justice!