Oh my goodness. You guys. When I decided to finally start this blog, the blog I’d thought about for so long, I promised myself I would rarely, if ever, start a post with an apology. You know what I’m talking about…the standard “I’m so sorry it’s been so long since I’ve blogged!” apology. I figured that by making this promise to myself, I’d avoid any gaps in blogging. Who wants to hear an apology anyways?! You just want to read a blog!
Alas, I’m sorry. (Sigh.) It seems the summer challenges my ability to get my act together and find time to talk to you guys regularly between traveling on the weekends, cramming in class work between work work, and spending time doing generally summery things (farmers markets, drinking white wine, seeing friends, drinking white wine…).
Speaking of seeing friends and drinking white wine, my friend Aubree came over the other night to cook and catch up. I’d had a long, hard week and jumped at the chance to get to spend an evening cooking leisurely and chatting with a good friend about life. I even suckered Aubree into doing most of the cooking so that I could
drink wine instead of chop vegetables take pictures of her. For you, of course! This also means you get more pictures than usual with this recipe.
I’m excited to report that I once again made something for the very first time. Just like with that ferocious kale, I faced my culinary fears as Aubree and I decided to brave the world of scallops. For years I’ve seen recipes for scallops and read about just how easy it is to pat them dry and sear them for a few minutes on each side. And voila! They’re done! Well, I’m thrilled to report that scallops are, in fact, just that easy to make. And they’re even more delicious.
This dish is nothing if not summertime on a plate. Sweet crunchy corn paired with juicy cherry tomatoes and fragrant cilantro. Tangy tomatillos pureed with creamy avocado and feisty jalapeno. And then the crowning jewels…subtly sweet yet equally “of-the-sea” salty scallops that are so fork tender they truly do just about melt in your mouth. Sip a perfectly chilled Sauvignon Blanc and it’s pure heaven.
Seared Scallops with Tomatillo Guacamole and Corn Salsa
Makes 3-4 servings
For the scallops:
12 large scallops
Extra virgin olive oil
For the tomatillo guacamole:
1 avocado, halved and pitted
1/2 pound tomatillos, husked and coarsely chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded and coarsely chopped (to taste)
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste
For the corn salsa:
3 ears fresh corn, shucked and kernels cut off ears
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste
1. Combine all ingredients for the guacamole in a food processor or blender and pulse until mixture is combined, but still fairly coarse. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Set aside.
2. Combine all ingredients for the corn salsa in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Set aside.
3. Rinse the scallops well. Pat them each dry, on both sides, with paper towels. Set scallops on a plate and sprinkle both sides well with cumin and salt.
4. Lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and set over high heat. When the pan is smoking hot (test by sprinkling water into the pan to be sure it sizzles), add the scallops, making sure not to crowd them in the pan.
5. Allow the first side of the scallops to sear without moving them (2-3 minutes). When the bottom half of the scallops have turned from opaque to white, and the bottoms are a dark brown, flip the scallops and sear on the other side.
6. Cook the scallops for another minute or two on this side, until the bottoms are browned and the tops spring back when you push on them with your finger or a spoon. Remove the scallops from the pan and put them individual plates for serving.
7. Serve the scallops with a generous dollop of tomatillo guacamole and a spoonful of corn salsa on top.