Sometimes a trip to the farmer’s market means you end up with just the right ingredients to make something delicious — this time it was freshly caught scallops with creamed corn, tomatoes, chiles and red onion. Just the right combo of flavors for a great summer dinner.
While I choose to always sous vide scallops (cooking them in a sealed bag in a water bath at just the right temp so that they can’t overcook), you can of course cook them in a hot pan on the stove or even grill them if you prefer. If you’re unfamiliar with sous vide cooking, this is a great article about the process and why it works…it’s used as a technique in professional kitchens and restaurants, but is easily used at home as well. The only thing you really need is a circulator (like the Anova or Joule).
To make scallops with creamed corn, tomatoes and chiles, plan how you’ll cook your scallops so that you can time having the corn, the tomatoes (cooked separately) and the scallops done at the same time.
Total preparation time:
2 ears of corn, husked and cleaned of silk
3 Tbsp butter, divided
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup sweet cherry tomatoes, de-stemmed and sliced in half
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 red chile (fresno or calabrian), sliced thinly on the diagonal
3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
8 large sea scallops
Begin by preparing all your ingredients. Slice the corn kernels from their cobs and put them in a bowl. Scrape the “milk” from the cobs into the same bowl with the dull side of a knife by running the knife along the length of the cob to gather any remaining corn meat and juices. Have the tomatoes halved and in a separate bowl. Ensure the garlic is minced, and slice the onion, pepper and chives.
Begin by making the corn. In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted and foaming, add the corn kernels and sauté 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the corn and stir. Cook for 1 minute to cook the flour, then add the water and cook for 2-3 minutes until the water is almost gone. Add the cream, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Salt & pepper to taste.
[If you are cooking the scallops on the stove, now would be a good time to heat a cast iron pan or another skillet over medium-high heat.] While the corn is simmering, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil when hot, then the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, onion and chile pepper slices and cook a further 3 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften. Add the chives at the end, along with salt and pepper and turn off the heat.
Once you have everything cooked, plate by serving half the corn on two plates or large shallow bowls. Top with the tomato, onion mixture and then the scallops. And enjoy your delicious scallops with creamed corn, tomatoes and chiles.
Some notes on cooking methods and times for the scallops:
Sous Vide: 40 minutes total time
Put the scallops, 1 Tbsp butter and a sprinkling of salt and pepper in a vacuum sealed bag or ziploc (make sure to remove all air if using a ziploc bag), and cook at 123 F for 30 minutes. Put the bag into an ice bath for 5 minutes to ‘set’ the scallops. Remove them from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a skillet over high heat, add 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil and when very hot, sear the scallops until nicely browned on both sides, about 45-60 seconds per side.
Stovetop: 10 minutes total time
Heat a cast iron skillet or equivalent over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil. Once the oil is very hot, add the scallops. You want a deep brown crust on the first side, cook for about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the other side about the same time.
Grilling: 20 minutes total time (assumes 15 minutes warm up time for a gas grill)
Skewer the scallops (if using wood skewers, soak in water first for 15 mins to avoid burning), brush with canola or vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the grill to high heat. Once ready, oil the grill grate and cook the scallops until well browned, 2-3 minutes per side.