- 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.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 up to 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Reheat the corn cakes before serving.
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.