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YIELDS:

2 servings

PREP TIME:

0 hours 20 mins

COOK TIME:

0 hours 30 mins

TOTAL TIME:

0 hours 50 mins

ingredients

8 Jumbo Sea Scallops

2 Oz. Linguica Sausage or 2 slices of bacon, finely diced

1 Tbsp. Olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. chopped chives

CORN PUREE

5 Ears of corn

1 Tbsp. olive oil

½ shallot, finely diced

2 Tbsp. red or orange bell pepper, finely diced

¼ Jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced

½ Cup skim milk, whole milk or heavy cream

¼ Cup chicken stock

½ Cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 Tbsp. butter (optional)

Salt & Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Boil a large pot of water. Remove the husks from the corn. Cook in the boiling water for five minutes. Drain and let cool until you are able to handle the corn. Once cool enough, cut the corn from the cobs. Put half the corn in a blender with ½ cup of the milk of your choice. Skim milk will produce a thinner puree but will also save a ton of calories and limit saturated fats. Don’t worry about the consistency; by blending the corn with the milk, it will get thick. Enjoy full fat milk and/or cream if that is your preference. All provide great results. Put to the side.
2. Dry the scallops with paper towel. You want them very, very dry to help with the searing process. Remove the little muscle on the side of the muscle (it is easy to see in the photo below) Place them on a paper towel lined plate and salt them. Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to draw out more liquid and help dry them out.
3. In a large skillet, add one tablespoon of olive oil, the shallot, jalapeno and bell pepper. Stir to soften the vegetables. Add the other half of the corn kernels and stir. Add the ¼ cup of chicken stock and salt and pepper to taste. Once everything is combined, add the blended corn and milk mixture and heat through. Add salt and pepper if needed (taste). Add the tablespoon of butter and stir in. (this is optional)
4. Meanwhile, heat the sausage or bacon in a skillet and get the meat very crispy. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon to another paper towel lined plate. You should have about 2 teaspoons of fat in the ban. Add about 1 Tbsp. of olive oil to that same pan (Don’t remove the fat there. You want that for flavor.) You will heat this pan until it is almost smoking hot. You will be cooking the scallops in this pan.
5. Remove the scallops from the refrigerator and dry them off again. Add in a single layer to the screaming hot pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let sizzle UNDISTURBED for about 3 minutes. This will get you that beautiful brown crust that you are looking for. Turn them over and cook for 1-1 ½ minutes more. Meanwhile, add the cut tomatoes to the corn puree and stir to heat through.
6. Place half the corn mixture on each plate. Top each with four perfectly cooked scallops, a sprinkling of chopped chives and about a tablespoon of the crispy, cooked sausage or bacon. Enjoy.

NOTE: This is by far one of my favorite meals and really pretty simple to pull off. It is award winning with my guests….they always rave. It is also pretty flexible. Use chorizo, sausage, bacon or pancetta as your meat flavoring to cook the scallops and as a crispy garnish on top of the dish. Any color bell pepper works and if you don’t have jalapeno, you can use the spicy pepper of your choice. Want it hotter? Add more. Want it rich and decadent? Use cream. Watching the waistline? Use skim milk.

The best tips I can give you on this dish is to really be sure those scallops are dry. If I’m planning ahead, I’ll salt the scallops and put them in the fridge overnight. I dry them again with paper towels before cooking in a skillet.  I find a non-stick pan works best for the scallops and DON’T play with them. Let them cook for the noted time before flipping them. It will be easier and they won’t stick if they are ready to flip.

Give this one a try, you won’t be disappointed.

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