Seared Scallops with Smoky Sweet Corn Puree is a wonderful way to use leftover grilled corn and enjoy an elegant dinner for two at the same time!
We’ve been enjoying a wonderful bounty from our garden and at times it’s been challenging to come up with creative ways to use it all. Therefore, I was surprised when my husband came home the other day from a quick stop at the grocery store with a bag full of sweet corn.
I asked if we were expecting company, but I knew we were not. Who could blame him–sometimes seasonal produce simply looks too good to resist.
We grilled the sweet corn that night in addition to enjoying a variety of our own produce prepared in various ways. However, we ended up with leftover sweet corn.
The leftover corn inspired me to create this recipe for Seared Scallops with Smoky Sweet Corn Puree. Sea scallops always lend an elegant note to any meal and they are so easy and quick to prepare. Just make sure the scallops you purchase are of high quality and not treated with any chemicals. If purchasing frozen bagged scallops, make sure the only ingredient listed is “sea scallops.”
I’ve got a full tutorial on how to buy, handle and sear sea scallops in this recipe.
I dusted the scallops with smoked paprika then quickly seared them in butter and bacon drippings. Mmwaahhh!
If you don’t have leftover or freshly grilled corn, simply blanch the corn. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then blanch for two minutes. To cool the corn, hold briefly under cold running water or immerse in a bowl of ice water.
To remove the sweet corn from the cob, I like to set the ear into the middle of a large, deep bowl. It will prevent the kernels from flying everywhere. Slowly cut in a downward motion with a good, sharp knife.
This sweet corn puree also works with grilled shrimp, chicken or pork chops.
Leftover grilled corn is the basis for an elegant dinner for two!
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 bunch scallions, white and light green part only, chopped
- 3 ears of corn, blanched or grilled, kernels removed
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 large sea scallops, patted dry
- 1-2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon then reduce heat to medium and cook until just crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Transfer bacon grease to a small bowl. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel.
Heat butter and 1 tablespoon bacon grease in the skillet. Add the scallions and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the corn kernels, cream cheese and half-and-half or cream. Continue cooking over medium heat or until cream cheese is smooth. Season to taste with cayenne, salt and black pepper.
Transfer half of the corn mixture to a food processor or blender. Process until almost smooth. Return to skillet, stir and keep warm.
In a nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon bacon grease over medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt, black pepper and smoked paprika. Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until medium doneness.
Stir chopped chives and half of cooked bacon into corn purée.
To serve, place scallops over corn purée and garnish with remaining bacon and more snipped chives.