Seared Scallops and Corn Cakes with Bacon Vinaigrette
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 4
Stewart Woodman often serves savory waffles and pancakes with his dinners in place of rice or potatoes. Here, he pairs big, beautifully seared scallops with delectable corn pancakes. "Perhaps the reason is my dyslexia," he jokes. "My wife, Heidi, thinks I see the world backwardssavory as sweet and vice versa."
- 1/4 pound thickly sliced bacon, diced
- 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
- 12 jumbo sea scallops (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 head of frisée, leaves torn
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
In the Edna Valley of California's Central Coast, cool ocean breezes and morning fog help give Chardonnay a refreshing acidity even as it retains enough richness for these hearty scallops with their bacony vinaigrette.