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Seared Scallops with Smoky Sweet Corn Puree

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Seared Scallops with Smoky Sweet Corn Puree: A Culinary Symphony

In the realm of gastronomy, where flavors harmonize and textures dance on the palate, few dishes embody the essence of culinary artistry like seared scallops with smoky sweet corn puree. This elegant yet approachable dish combines the delicate sweetness of fresh scallops with the robust smokiness of corn, creating a symphony of flavors that delights the senses and elevates the dining experience to new heights.

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At the heart of this dish lies the scallop, a prized jewel of the sea revered for its tender flesh and subtle brininess. When properly seared, scallops develop a golden crust that yields to a luxuriously tender interior, creating a textural contrast that is both satisfying and indulgent. The key to achieving perfection lies in meticulous preparation and precise execution.

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To begin, select the freshest scallops available, preferably sourced from sustainable sources to ensure quality and ethical consumption. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture, allowing them to sear evenly and develop a beautiful crust. Season the scallops with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, enhancing their natural flavor without overpowering their delicate profile.

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Next, heat a skillet over medium-high heat until it’s smoking hot. Add a small amount of high-heat oil, such as grapeseed or avocado oil, to the skillet, swirling to coat the surface evenly. Carefully place the scallops in the skillet, making sure not to overcrowd the pan to ensure proper caramelization. Allow the scallops to sear undisturbed for 1-2 minutes on each side until they develop a rich golden crust. Resist the urge to move them too soon, as this can prevent the desired caramelization from occurring.

As the scallops sear, prepare the smoky sweet corn puree, which serves as the perfect accompaniment to complement their flavors. Begin by shucking fresh ears of sweet corn and removing the kernels from the cob. In a separate skillet, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat and add the corn kernels, allowing them to cook until lightly charred and caramelized. This step imbues the corn with a smoky depth that adds complexity to the puree.

Once the corn is caramelized, transfer it to a blender or food processor, adding a splash of heavy cream for richness and depth of flavor. Blend the mixture until smooth and velvety, adjusting the consistency with additional cream if necessary. Season the puree with a pinch of smoked paprika and a touch of honey, balancing the smoky notes with a subtle sweetness that enhances the natural sweetness of the corn.

With the scallops perfectly seared and the smoky sweet corn puree velvety smooth, it’s time to plate this culinary masterpiece. Spoon a generous dollop of the sweet corn puree onto each plate, using the back of the spoon to create an elegant swirl. Carefully arrange the seared scallops on top of the puree, their golden crusts glistening in the light, a testament to their expert preparation.

Garnish the dish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs, such as chives or microgreens, adding a pop of color and a burst of freshness that enlivens the palate. For a final flourish, drizzle a delicate swirl of high-quality extra virgin olive oil over the scallops, adding a luxurious finish that enhances their natural sweetness and elevates the dish to new heights of culinary excellence.

With each bite, the flavors meld and mingle, creating a symphony of taste sensations that dance on the palate. The tender sweetness of the scallops harmonizes with the smoky richness of the corn puree, creating a culinary experience that is both indulgent and unforgettable. Seared scallops with smoky sweet corn puree are not merely a dish; they are a celebration of the artistry of cooking, a testament to the transformative power of ingredients, and a symphony of flavors that delights the senses and nourishes the soul.

Source: fromachefskitchen.com

Yield: 2

Seared Scallops with Smoky Sweet Corn Puree

Seared Scallops with Smoky Sweet Corn Puree

In the realm of gastronomy, where flavors harmonize and textures dance on the palate, few dishes embody the essence of culinary artistry like seared scallops with smoky sweet corn puree. This elegant yet approachable dish combines the delicate sweetness of fresh scallops with the robust smokiness of corn, creating a symphony of flavors that delights the senses and elevates the dining experience to new heights.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon - cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 bunch scallions - white and light green part only, chopped
  • 3 ears corn - blanched or grilled, kernels removed
  • 4 ounces cream cheese - softened
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half - or heavy cream
  • Cayenne pepper - to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 8 large sea scallops - patted dry
  • 1-2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives - plus more for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.

  • Add the bacon then reduce heat to medium and cook until just crisp, about 4-5 minutes.

  • Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Transfer bacon grease to a small bowl and wipe out skillet with a paper towel.

  • Heat butter and 1 tablespoon bacon grease in the skillet. Add the scallions and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.

  • Add the corn kernels, cream cheese and half-and-half or cream. Continue cooking over medium heat or until cream cheese is smooth. Season to taste with cayenne, salt and black pepper.

  • Transfer half of the corn mixture to a food processor or blender. Process until almost smooth, leaving some corn texture remaining.

  • Return to skillet, stir and keep warm.

  • In a nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon bacon grease over medium-high heat.

  • Season scallops with salt, black pepper and smoked paprika. Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until medium doneness.

  • Stir chopped chives and half of the cooked bacon into corn purée.

  • To serve, place scallops over corn purée and garnish with remaining bacon and more snipped chives.

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS:  May substitute shrimp for the scallops.

MAKE AHEAD:  The corn puree can be made 1 day ahead of time.  Cool and refrigerate in a covered container.  When ready to serve, transfer to a saucepan and add 1-2 tablespoons of water then gently reheat over low heat until heated through.

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