Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cornmeal-Crusted Scallops and Corn Relish

My experience with eating scallops is limited and I've never once made them before. They are expensive; the thought of taking $20 in bivalves and turning them into hockey pucks is horrifying. This recipe looks like a good start. I could do the relish first and then put all of my focus on the scallops rather than trying to do them in parallel, reducing the likelihood that I'll turn my cash into a pile of rocks.

Cornmeal-Crusted Scallops and Corn Relish
from Cooking Club of America
click to print

1 small red bell pepper, diced (1/4 inch)
1/2 medium onion, diced (1/4 inch)
1/4 c cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp celery seeds
1/8 tsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 c corn kernels (from 2 medium ears corn)*
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cornmeal
12 oz. jumbo sea scallops
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Place bell pepper, onion, vinegar, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, celery seeds and mustard seeds in large skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook 5 minutes or until pepper is slightly softened and liquid has almost evaporated, stirring frequently.

After four minutes, there was still plenty of liquid in the skillet but the pepper is already slightly softened.

Stir in corn; cook and stir 3 minutes or until corn is crisp-tender. Cool to room temperature.

In small shallow plate, stir together flour and cornmeal.

Sprinkle scallops with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; toss scallops in flour mixture to coat.

Heat medium skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add oil; heat until hot.

Add scallops, in batches if necessary; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until light brown and center is barely opaque, turning once.

Serve scallops with corn relish.

TIP *If corn is very sweet, omit sugar from recipe.

My first time doing scallops and I'm impressed! They turned out perfectly, tender and moist with just-crisped, caramelized exteriors, and opaque interiors, and loaded with flavor.

The vinegar in the relish became wearisome very quickly as it is quite a pungent flavor. I'd ease up on that quite a bit and/or have a milder flavored side dish to accompany. The scallops should be the star here, but the relish is just too in-my-face. Eating dinner, I'm thinking anything else would be good. Broccoli, French fries, cole slaw. Maybe that's a sign that I should have prepared a side to accompany.

  • red bell pepper: $0.92
  • onion: $0.21
  • cider vinegar: $0.08
  • sugar: $0.03
  • ears of corn: $0.78
  • cornmeal: $0.03
  • jumbo sea scallops: $18.16
  • olive oil: $0.06
Total: $22.27 or about $10.14 for each of two servings.