Monday, April 27, 2009

Seared Scallops and Corn Cakes with Bacon Vinaigrette

Seared scallops are a favorite of mine so I am always up for trying new recipes that call for them. While this recipe has a long list of ingredients, you should have most of these items in your pantry already so don't stress. When I lived in Chicago, I could never find frisée in stores but that is not the case in California. If you can't find any frisée, just sub with some spring greens or baby arugula.

Seared Scallops and Corn Cakes with Bacon Vinaigrette

  1. 1/4 pound thickly sliced bacon, diced
  2. 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 small shallot, minced
  4. 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  5. 1/4 cup chicken stock
  6. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  7. 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  8. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  9. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  10. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  11. Pinch of cayenne pepper
  12. 3/4 cup milk
  13. 2 eggs, separated
  14. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  15. 3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
  16. 12 jumbo sea scallops (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  17. 1 head of frisée, leaves torn


  1. In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a bowl and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the shallot to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the shallot is softened. Add the vinegar and stock and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Dijon and whole-grain mustards. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the cayenne. In another bowl, whisk the milk, egg yolks and melted butter. Stir in the dry ingredients and the corn. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the corn batter.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°. In a large skillets, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add several 2-tablespoon-size dollops of batter to the skillet, forming 3-inch cakes. Cook over moderate heat until the edges are deeply browned and the tops are bubbling, about 2 minutes. Flip the cakes and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes longer. Drain the corn cakes on paper towels and repeat with the remaining batter, adding up to 2 more tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Transfer the corn cakes to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet. Cook over high heat, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the scallops and cook until golden, about 3 minutes longer.
  5. Stir the bacon into the vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, toss the frisée with 2 tablespoons of the dressing and mound on 4 plates. Arrange the scallops and corn cakes on the plates and drizzle with the rest of the dressing. Serve right away.
    The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 up to 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Reheat the corn cakes before serving.


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