Corn Chowder with Bacon and Sea Scallops
- ACTIVE: 25 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 5 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
Look for sugar-cured bacon, which is smoky and sweet but mild enough not to overpower the other flavors here.
- 6 ounces thickly sliced bacon, coarsely chopped
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 15 ounces frozen corn, thawed (3 cups)
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons minced chives, plus more for garnish
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 pound medium sea scallops
- In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderately low heat until crisp, 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and reserve. Add the onion and celery to the pan. Cook over low heat until softened, 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, puree 1 cup of the corn with 1 cup of the milk. Add the corn puree to the saucepan along with the remaining 2 cups each of corn and milk and the potatoes. Simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cream, chives and the reserved bacon. Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco and keep warm.
- In a large skillet, heat the reserved 2 tablespoons of bacon fat until shimmering. Add the scallops, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Ladle the soup into bowls; top with the scallops and chives and serve.
Consider a medium-bodied Chardonnay from South Africa or Napa.