Pan-Roasted Diver Scallops, with Lime and Creme Fraiche Creamed Corn, and Cilantro Salad

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 3 appetizer servings
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Ingredients

2 tablespoons blended oil

9 diver scallops, removed from shell and cleaned

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 cup whole cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons Pickled Red Onions, recipe follows

2 tablespoons Pickled Chiles, recipe follows

2 limes, juiced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Creme Fraiche Creamed Corn, recipe follows

Creme Fraiche Creamed Corn:

2 tablespoons butter

1 shallot, minced

Kosher salt

2 to 3 garlic cloves, sliced

2 ears corn, kernels removed

2 cups warm Corn Cob Stock, recipe follows

Freshly cracked black pepper

2 limes, zested and juiced (save juice for another dish)

2 tablespoons creme fraiche

Corn Cob Stock:

6 ears corn

1 red onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted

2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock or water

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Pickled Chiles:

1/2 pound Fresno chiles, thinly sliced

1 cup sherry vinegar

1 cup water

2 garlic cloves

1 shallot

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/2 cup sugar

Pickled Red Onions:

2 pounds red onions, sliced

White wine vinegar

Sugar

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

4 garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season both sides of the scallops with salt, to taste. Add the scallops to the hot pan, and don't touch! Let them caramelize until golden brown, about 3 minutes, and then flip. Add the butter and coriander and allow the butter to melt. Begin to baste the scallops, spooning the melted butter along the tops of the scallops, so the scallops barely cook through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Build your cilantro salad by adding cilantro leaves, pickled onions and pickled chiles to a medium mixing bowl. Add the lime juice and extra-virgin olive oil and mix to combine. 
  3. Put a couple of spoonfuls of creamed corn down on each plate, then top it with 3 scallops. Finish with a heaping spoonful of cilantro salad. Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

Creme Fraiche Creamed Corn:

  1. In a medium-saucepan, add corn stock and bring to a simmer.
  2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the shallots, a pinch of salt, and let sweat, cooking until the shallots are a bit translucent. Add the garlic, a bit more salt and cook about 1 minute more. Add the corn kernels and continue to cook for a few minutes, adding a touch more salt as you go. Keep stirring so the mixture combines together and nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Using a ladle, add some of the warmed corn stock, about 1 1/2 cups, adding more if it seems dry, and stir to combine. Season with a little cracked pepper. Let the corn mixture cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the lime zest and fold in the creme fraiche. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if necessary.

Corn Cob Stock:

  1. Corn Cob Stock: Cut the kernels from the cobs and reserve the kernels for another purpose. Toss the cobs into a large pot with the onion, garlic, thyme, coriander, stock and salt. Bring to a boil, over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer, discarding the solids. You should have about 4 cups.

Pickled Chiles:

  1. Put the sliced chiles in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add all the pickling liquids and spices to a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Pour the hot liquid over the sliced chiles and set sit for about 20 minutes. Drain the chiles and discard the pickling juice and spices. Use right away or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for a couple weeks.

Pickled Red Onions:

  1. Pack the onions into 2 (1-quart) jars and cover with enough water to come within 1/2-inch of the rim. Pour the water out into a measuring cup. Note the volume, pour off half of the water, and replace it with vinegar. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons salt for every 3 cups of liquid.
  2. Pour the vinegar mixture into a nonreactive saucepan, add the mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow the liquid to boil for 2 minutes, and then remove it from the heat. 
  3. Pour the hot liquid into the jars to cover the onions and screw on the lids. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

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