Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Seared Scallops w/ Creamed Corn & Asparagus
Happy Wednesday everybody! I just got home from picking up our first CSA of the year! The rain really did a number on the farms because we didn't get as big of a share as they had hoped for us to get - but hey, I'm happy with anything! We ended up with a bunch of mixed greens, scallions, lettuce, and a few strawberries. They also subbed in some canned stuff due to the lack of actual produce - pumpkin butter (can we say yum?!), garden salsa, and soy sauce - all locally made of course!
What's also great about today is the sun is shining! No rain (with the exception of a few sprinkles this morning) all day! Hallelujah!
Anyway, this past Sunday was slim pickins in the house. Well, I wanted to experiment and test my abilities with what we already had, anyway. We had just went to the grocery on Saturday and I picked up some scallops from Whole Foods, not really knowing what I wanted to do with them yet. Andy just so happened to get some corn and asparagus, so the dish just came together naturally. After checking my handy dandy Flavor Bible (best resource ever!), all of those components were a go! Don't you just love when a meal comes together like that?
6 sea scallops
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large corn on the cob
1 to 2 tablespoons of whole milk
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
about 10 stalks of asparagus
1 tablespoon butter
4 strips of bacon
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place bacon atop foil and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Place on paper towel-lined plate to dry, then chop into small pieces.
Heat a small saucepan under medium high heat and add butter and bay leaf.
Cut corn from the cob and place in saucepan. Cook for about 10 minutes or so, until corn has slightly softened. Season with cayenne pepper and salt. Add in milk and heat for about 2-3 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and puree corn with an immersion blender, adding more milk if needed, until you reach your desired consistency. I like my creamed corn slightly chunky, but smooth at the same time. Heat on low to keep warm while you make the asparagus and scallops.
Heat a large skillet under medium high heat and add olive oil. Add asparagus spears and saute for about 5 minutes, or until bright green and still slightly crisp. Remove from pan with tongs and set aside.
In same skillet, add more olive oil, if needed and bring heat up just a tad. Season scallops with salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook for about 2 & 1/2 minutes per side, or until nicely browned. You don't want to overcook them because they'll still continue to cook after you take them out of the pan.
To plate, add a good amount of creamed corn to form a base. Then place about 5 asparagus spears on each plate. Arrange scallops on or around asparagus and garnish with bacon (not a crucial step, but definitely one I wouldn't want to skip, hehe).
I loved how so many different textures were going on here. The smoothness of the corn, the crunch of the asparagus, the delicate scallop. It was perfect! This was definitely something I could see myself eating at an elegant restaurant (hey, maybe it'll be a dish in my restaurant one day??? - a girl can dream, right?). It was fresh, flavorful, and definitely hit the spot in a hurry!
Well, I'm off to go play some volleyball (can we say undefeated for the season so far? Hopefully I didn't just jinx us!) Have a great rest of your Wednesday guys! And stay tuned tomorrow for some pics of our first CSA pick-up!