Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Scallops with Roasted Corn and Tomatoes

This dish highlights scallops, nestled on top of a bed of some of summer's finest. Corn is already a sweet grain, and pan roasting it brings out even more sweet flavor. Add some cherry tomatoes and peppers for color, and you're set to go. Scallops are also sweet tasting, they're a mollusk with a delicate flavor. All these sweet flavors mixed together make for one very special summer meal.


1 tsp. olive oil
2 ears corn
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp. minced garlic, divided
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
10 cherry tomatoes (I used a combination of yellow and red)
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, basil and/or parsley
several grinds of sea salt
several grinds of pepper
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. butter
4-6 scallops, depending on size

Directions: Heat the teaspoon of olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Hold the corn in the skillet, and shave the kernels off the cob. Add the onion, half of the garlic, the red pepper, and about one third of the herbs to the skillet. Add the salt and pepper. Cook until the corn starts to color, about 5 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and about another third of the herbs, and continue to cook for just one more minute, until the tomatoes begin to warm. Taste for seasoning. Be careful not to over salt. Mollusks are seafood, meaning they've grown up in salty seawater, so need little seasoning themselves. Remove the vegetables from the pan.

Wipe the skillet clean, then add the half teaspoon of olive oil and butter to the skillet. Place the skillet over medium high heat and heat until the pan is hot. Add the scallops and the second half of the garlic and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the scallops.

Serve by dividing the corn mixture between two plates. Top each plate with half the scallops and sprinkle with the remaining herbs. Serve with a green salad for a complete meal.

Serves 2, easily doubled

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Do get "dry" scallops. Scallops are sold either "wet" or "dry." Wet scallops are treated with STP, sodium tripolyphosphate. STP may help keep scallops moist longer, but it works by allowing the scallops to absorb water. Because they stay moist longer, your scallops might not be as fresh, meaning they'll lose some of their delicate flavor. "Wet" scallops also have a higher water content. That high water content means your scallops won't brown nicely in the pan, and they'll taste somewhat rubbery and watery. Hence - purchase "dry" scallops.

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