The quality of the seafood is key in this lemony, piquant dish. April Bloomfield recommends seeking out day-boat scallops, caught by fishermen who return from a day at sea with supremely fresh scallops that haven't been treated with any kind of preservative. Instead of being milky white, they're almost coral-colored.
More Scallop Recipes
1 2/3 cups corn kernels (cut from 4 ears of corn)
2/3 cup whole milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, separated
3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
16 sea scallops (about 1 pound)
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup chopped basil
2 cups pea shoots (1 ounce)
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter four 1-cup ramekins. In a medium saucepan, combine the corn, milk and heavy cream and simmer over moderately high heat for 2 minutes. Puree half of the mixture in a blender. Return the puree to the saucepan.
In another medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the corn mixture and bring to a boil, then simmer, whisking, for 1 minute; season with salt. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks. Let cool until warm, about 20 minutes.
In a large, stainless steel bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks form. Fold one-third of the beaten whites into the corn mixture, then fold in the remaining whites. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins. Set the ramekins in a small baking dish and carefully add enough water to the dish to reach one-third of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the puddings are just slightly jiggly in the center.
In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil until smoking. Season the scallops with salt, add them to the skillet and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook the scallops for 1 minute longer. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the scallops to a large plate.
Add the anchovies to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until they dissolve, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and the water to the skillet and simmer until thickened, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the basil and any accumulated juices from the scallops. Season with salt. Return the scallops to the skillet and keep warm.
In a bowl, toss the pea shoots with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice; season with salt. Arrange the scallops on 4 plates and pour the basil-anchovy sauce on top. Mound the pea shoot salad alongside and serve with the corn puddings.
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