Seared Scallops with Cauliflower-Corn Puree

>> Saturday, March 3, 2012

Even though I'm not a huge seafood lover, I was really looking forward to this fun, classy, little-bit-more-gourmet-than-usual meal.  I love to get in the kitchen and make dinner when I'm really excited about a new recipe.  I decided to serve this as our Valentine's meal at home.  I love to celebrate Valentine's at a fancy restaurant...just not actually on the day because I hate the crowds.  So I usually make a nice dinner at home (like last year's Filet Oscar) and then we got out to dinner on another night.

This meal really isn't hard to put together, even though it has several different components.  This is a pretty healthy, low carbohydrate meal.  Sure it has some butter in it, but not too much.  And it was a celebratory dinner after all.  (Of course it was before our household was dairy free!)  The scallops were fantastic and I was really surprised at how good the cauliflower puree was.  So if you're looking for a fancy-schmancy, but easy-peasy, meal, look no further!

Seared Scallops with Cauliflower-Corn Puree
recipe adapted slightly from So Forking Good

Olive oil
6 thin slices pancetta, chopped
8 large scallops
1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 - 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted completely
salt and pepper, to taste
arugula or watercress, for garnish

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.  When hot, add pancetta.  Cook, stirring often, until pancetta is crispy and has rendered its fat.  With a slotted spoon, remove pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate.  Leave pancetta fat in the pan and set aside.

Clean scallops by rinsing in cold water.  Gently slice an X-pattern on the top of each scallop.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Heat a pot of water to a boil.  Add cauliflower and cook until fork tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Drain and return cauliflower back to pot.  Add cream, butter and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix with a hand mixer until smooth.  Stir in corn kernels.

Meanwhile, heat the pan with the pancetta fat on medium-high heat.  If needed, add a little more olive oil until the surface of the pan is coated.  Once hot, place scallops in the pan.  Pan fry for about 2-3 minutes and then flip, browning the other side for an additional 1-2 minutes.

To serve, spoon a good helping of the cauliflower mixture on a plate.  Top with scallops.  Garnish with pancetta and arugula (or watercress).  Serve immediately.


candace March 5, 2012 at 7:35 PM  

I also made this on Valentine's day and it was really good. Though Craig went to the grocery store on Vday and all they had was purple cauliflower and it didn't puree well. But other than that- delicious.

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