This recipe for Seared Scallops in a Cayenne Corn Purée is by far one of my favorite dishes to prepare. So often, I am asked how to achieve that perfect sear. Honestly, it is much easier than you think. Although this dish may appear difficult, it is NOT! Honestly, this entire dish will come together in just about 15 minutes, or less. Also, be sure to see below how I transformed this dish using my homemade Hot Chili Oil, instead of cayenne pepper.
As mentioned above, I have been asked numerous times how to sear scallops perfectly. Believe me, it is easier than you may think. Although I typically use a cast iron pan, I would suggest if you are a newbie, or a bit nervous about achieving the perfect sear, use a non-stick pan. Additionally, if you want to keep this dish pescatarian, just omit the bacon.
A few people have pointed out that the corn purée reminds them of grits. Totally agree. Although I am not a natural born Southerner, my recipe for Shrimp and Grits is out of this world!
LET’S TALK SCALLOPS
Follow this technique and I can assure, you will create the most perfectly seared scallops, every single time. It is important to note, if possible, use U10/12 (per pound size), dry-packed scallops. Dry-packed scallops, as opposed to wet-packed, do not lose a lot of volume during the searing process. Wet-packed scallops contain a lot of chemicals. Consequently, the wet-packed scallops will be about half the size you started with, once seared.
Basically, four factors will produce a perfect sear. First, the scallops need to be as dry as possible. Secondly, a hot pan. Additionally, do NOT touch! Lastly, do NOT crowd the pan. I will talk about this a bit more below.
Rinse the scallops. Locate and pull off the foot (tiny muscle on the side that was attached to the shell). Place the scallops on paper towels to dry. Thoroughly, pat dry. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
Heat up a cast iron, or non-stick pan to a medium-high. Coat the pan with just a touch of olive oil or butter. Quite often, I will place the scallops in a dry pan and add a touch of butter during the first minute of searing. If you are new to this, I suggest prepping the pan.
Once the pan is super hot, gently place about four to five scallops. As mentioned earlier, do NOT overcrowd. Sear in batches, if need be. Searing happens when there is separation. If the pan is overcrowded, the scallops will basically cook, and not sear properly. Be sure to add another pat of butter with each batch.
Allow the scallops to sear on one side for about two to three minutes, depending on the size. As much as you may want to, DO NOT TOUCH. Just allow them to sear and form a beautiful crust. Flip and sear the other side. This should only take about a minute. Be sure NOT to overcook. In my opinion, practice makes perfect. You can do this. I got you!!!!
HOW TO MAKE SEARED SCALLOPS IN A CAYENNE CORN PURÉE
If you are using bacon, dice and crisp up. Be sure to drain any excess grease. If possible, use fresh corn on the cob. Grab about five to six ears. Using a knife, cut the kernels from the cob. Substitute fresh corn with white shoepeg corn from a can.
As you are heating up the pan for searing the scallops, grab a sauce pot. Add the corn, kosher salt, black pepper, butter, heavy whipping cream and cayenne pepper (I usually use about one teaspoon, but you can definitely use more/less depending on your preferred heat level). Allow the pot to come to a boil. Boil for about five to six minutes.
Remove pot from heat. Blend using an immersion blender. Fold in a generous handful of the crisp bacon pieces into the blended mixture.
This dish is best served immediately. To plate for individual servings as an entree, spoon the cayenne corn purée into bowls. Top with three to four perfectly seared scallops. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and a few more crisp bacon pieces. ENJOY these fabulous Seared Scallops in a Cayenne Corn Purée. Serve as an appetizer by using just a dollop of the corn purée topped with the scallop and garnish.
HOT CHILI OIL SEARED SCALLOPS WITH A CORN PURÉE
As mentioned earlier, I created a spin on the original recipe using my homemade Hot Chili Oil. Basically, just follow the recipe above, except for these minor changes. Omit the bacon. As for the purée, combine the corn, heavy whipping and salt. No need to add cayenne pepper. The hot chili oil will provide enough heat.
To plate, place a perfectly seared scallop on top of a generous spoonful of the corn purée. Drizzle on the hot chili oil. Garnish with fresh clover sprouts. ENJOY!
Naturally, I created a short video of this preparation on TikTok. Click here to view. If you have not yet signed up for this social media platform, use my code 5SSIS800K0H06 to create an account.
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I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him. He is known as one of the best skate sharpeners in the world!
Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!
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