Thursday, June 18, 2020

Bon Appétit: Pan-Seared Scallops with Corn and Chorizo

I love scallops.  If there is a scallop option on the menu, you're going to be hard pressed to convince me to order otherwise.  But because of their delicate nature, I've steered away from making them at home.  Too hard to get that perfect sear, I thought.  But when I saw this recipe, with all the delicious summer things in it, I knew I had to give it a try.  And it's really not that hard if you have a well-seasoned cast iron pan.  The corn is tangy, and the chorizo adds the perfect balance.

Pan-Seared Scallops with Corn and Chorizo
From Bon Appétit, September 2018

3 ears of corn, husked
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
2 ounces smoked Spanish chorizo, finely chopped
12 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ to 1 serrano chile (depending on heat), finely chopped
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
1 cup buttermilk
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
12 large sea scallops (about 1 pound), side muscle removed, patted dry
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lime, halved
Lime wedges (for serving)

Cut kernels from corncobs and place in a medium bowl. Using the back of a chef’s knife, scrape milk from cobs into the bowl; discard cobs.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Cook chorizo, stirring occasionally, until it starts to get crisp, about 2 minutes. Carefully pour chorizo oil into a small bowl (use a slotted spoon to hold back chorizo); set chorizo oil aside. Return chorizo pan to medium heat and add scallions, garlic, chile, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add corn kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until bright yellow and softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let corn mixture cool in pan 5 minutes. Gently mix in buttermilk and cilantro. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

Season scallops generously with salt. Heat reserved chorizo oil and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high until just beginning to smoke. Cook scallops on one side, reducing heat if they are taking on too much color and moving around in pan for even browning, until a golden brown crust forms on the bottom, about 3 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and turn scallops over. Add butter to skillet and, using a spoon, baste scallops with butter 30 seconds. Transfer scallops to a plate. Squeeze halved lime over.

Divide corn mixture among plates and arrange scallops on top. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

Makes 4 servings

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