Seared Scallops with Corn Cream

I came across this recipe while perusing Reddit. It looked interesting and I thought the idea of “Corn Cream” was something I had never heard of. Seemed like it would be similar to a light version of polenta, which I really like, so I decided to make it for dinner.

I am not a fan of smoked paprika, so I just used regular paprika for the color. Nor could I fined the Fresno chilies at my local store, so I substituted red jalapenos. I used watercress instead of the radish sprouts, but all in all it came out looking like the real deal and tasted great.

The big trick is to make sure the scallops are very dry and then pre-oil them before they hit the pan. I would always heat the oil/butter in the pan before adding the scallops, but this worked really well. You need a super hot pan, and it will smoke, so either do it outside on your gas grill side burner, or be prepared to set off your smoke alarm.

Ingredients:

2 ears fresh white corn, kernels cut from cob
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
kosher salt, to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper
12 large sea scallops, whole, rinsed and patted dry
1 red Fresno pepper, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons avocado oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, or to taste
1 splash water
1 tablespoon butter, or more to taste
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup radish sprouts

Method:

1. Stir corn kernels, chicken broth, 2 tablespoons butter, cayenne pepper, and salt together in a saucepan; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool before putting in blender.

2. Pour corn mixture into a blender no more than half full. Cover and hold lid down; pulse a few times before leaving on to blend. Puree in batches until smooth. Pour pureed corn mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a saucepan. Season with salt to taste.

3. Toss scallops, Fresno pepper, canola oil, kosher salt, and smoked paprika in a bowl until scallops are completely coated. Separate pepper slices from scallops.

4. Heat a large heavy skillet over high heat until very hot, about 5 minutes. Cook scallops in hot skillet until browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side until cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Cook and stir sliced peppers on the side of the skillet while the scallops are cooking.

5. Remove skillet from heat; transfer scallops to a plate, leaving peppers in hot skillet. Stir water and 1 tablespoon butter into peppers until butter melts. Drizzle lemon juice over peppers; stir to glaze peppers completely.

6. Divide corn cream between four bowls. Place 3 scallops over corn puree and top with glazed peppers. Garnish with radish sprouts.

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