sauteed sea scallop

Sea Scallop, Sea Scallop Taste Good

Sea scallop and polenta appetizer
Eater rating: 4.8 / 5  4.76

This tasty little appetizer is made up of a sauteed sea scallop stacked on smokey braised collard greens, a savory rosemary-garlic polenta cake, and tangy sundried tomato and artichoke heart pesto. The dish is garnished with lovely delicate edible flowers.

sea scallop and polenta
Amuse bouche
T: I wasn’t hungry at all when we sat down to eat this, but after my first bite… I was appetized. This was so tasty!
A: hell yeah. i had planned for it to be just a little appetizer to get us hungry for dinner…
T: well it certainly amused my boosh.
A: uh… boosh? ah…. bouche! i dig. i definately have to agree on this one. not all that much has been exciting my palate lately but this… this was spot on!
T: I know you’ve been saying that you’ve had no inspiration lately, that you’re bored with everything… so, what sparked this lovely little dish?
A: actually it was the left-over rosemary and garlic polenta that we ate with lamb steaks in an un-blogged-about meal the other day. it was just sitting in the fridge calling out to me saying, “amanda… please make me into some yummy fried up cakes… please? please? please?” from there it was just figuring out what i wanted to pair with the polenta cakes, you know?
T: you done good, woman. I really loved the paste on the bottom… what was that stuff? it was seriously good.
A: :-D it was artichoke and sun-dried tomato pesto. pretty much just a paste of garlic, artichokes hearts, sundried tomatoes, pinenuts, lemon juice, and romano cheese.
T: i hope you’ll write a recipe for the lovely readers out there… their lives are lacking until they eat it themselves.
A: heheh i certainly plan to. you know, i always plan to write recipes… it’s just the over-whelming sense of laziness that leads me astray and tempts me to do other things… like read food blogs.
T: I feel ya. It’s tough to do things after work (or before work (or during work)).
A: well..uh… that pretty much rules out doing anything ever. 
T: silly! :-P It’s easy to do work at work. But, in your case, where work consists of staying awake at all hours of the night, I can understand how it would be difficult to get in extracurriculars.
A: fur sure dude! so, did you think all the elements of this little ditty worked well together?
T: this could have been served anywhere. It was just that good. Everything went together perfectly. I give it a 4.82/5. I can’t say enough about it.
A: wooo hooo! :-D i love when i strike one out of the ballpark with you! this one actually hit home with me too.
T: I know you usually just get to 3rd base ;-)
A: ah! you dirty bastard… :-P what if your grandmother reads this!
T: my existence proves that she knows what we’re talking about.
A: touche, t, touche! now to focus back on those lovely sea creatures…I don’t know what it is about sea scallops, but they just trigger some kind of happiness sensor with me. i mean, as long as they’re not over done, they’re just good, good, good!
T: i know, they’re so tender and mild. You just have to love them.
A: and it’s for that very reason that i give them a 4.7/5. tender, delicious and they went perfectly with the smokey collard greens, savory polenta cakes, and tangy pesto. geez… now i’m making myself salivate…
T: i’m salivating too.
A: you know, we never did get any dinner!
T: you mean, a can of Milwaukee’s Best Light doesn’t count?
A: not one! but drink five more and you’ll have consumed all your dinner calories ;-)
T: that’s right. Kids, you read it here first… you don’t need dinner… beer’s all you need!
A: note: this message is not approved by the u.s. government or the folks at what were eating.
T: or anybody.

p.s. I’d like to give a happy birthday shoutout to our friend Tanya over at the Directory of Hotels Blog. Cheers!

An Original Recipe, by Amanda
Sea Scallop Appetizer

4 sea scallops
rosemary garlic polenta cakes (recipe follows)
smokey braised collard greens (recipe follows)
sundried tomato-artichoke pesto (recipe follows)
edible flowers
2 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt and fresh black pepper

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the scallops liberally with salt and pepper. Once the pan is hot, sear the sea scallops for about 2-2 1/2 minutes per side, flipping only once. Sear until just cooked through, about five minutes. squeeze all the liquid out of the collard greens, then layer pesto, polenta cakes, collard greens, and sea scallops in the middle of a plate. Garnish with edible flowers. Enjoy!

Rosemary Garlic Polenta Cakes

1 cup coursely ground yellow cornmeal (or yellow corn grits)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup water
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
2 tbsp butter
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko
vegetable oil
kosher salt and pepper

Make the polenta: Melt 2 tbsp butter in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. Saute minced garlic and rosemary in the melted butter for a minutes. Add water and heavy cream, turn the heat to med-high, and bring the ingredients to a boil. As soon as the ingredients have reached a boil, slowly start to whisk in the corn meal. Reduce heat to low and simmer the polenta, stirring frequently. When the corn meal has absorbed all of the liquid, remove the polenta from the heat then season liberally with salt and pepper to taste. Line a small sheet pan or small square casserole dish with parchment paper, then spread the polenta evenly throughout pan. Allow the polenta to cool completely. (I make the polenta the night before, eat it warm then use the leftovers to make the polenta cakes the next day ;-) ) Place one cup of flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, do the same with the panko. In a third bowl, add on egg and a litte bit of water (to thin it out). Whisk the egg and water together. Using a ring mold or circular cookie cutter, cut out the polenta rounds. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat with about a half inch of vegetable oil in the bottom. Dip each of the polenta rounds first in the seasoned flour, then in the egg, and finally into the panko. Set the polenta cake aside until the oil has properly heated. Repeat with the rest of the polenta rounds. To tell if the oil is hot enough, stick the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil and if bubbles start to form around the the wood, the oil's hot enough, or drop in a touch of panko and if the oil immediately begins to sizzle furiously, its ready. Add the polenta cakes to the oil, working in two batches so you don't over-crowd the pan (unless you're got a mega large pan... use your judgement :-P ). Fry each side of the polenta cakes for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on a paper towel or a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Smokey Braised Collard Greens

2 thick slices bacon, roughly chopped
1 sm yellow onion, sliced
1 bunch collard greens, trimmed of unedible stalks and cut into about 1" pieces
2 cups water
salt and pepper

Saute the bacon in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Once all the oil has been rendered from the bacon and the bacon is crispy add the sliced onions. Saute the onions until they turn translucent, about ten minutes. Add the collard greens, two cups of water, a couple tablespoons of salt, and black pepper. Most of the salt will remain in the water, which will be discarded before eating, so don't worry about the amount. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes, or until the greens are tender. Strain off the braising liquid before serving. Enjoy!

Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Pesto

1 8oz package frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, packaged in oil
2 tbsp pinenuts
2 cloves garlic
juice from 1/2 a large lemon
1/4 cup grated romano cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Blanche the artichokes in boiling water for one minute, then add them to a food processor. Add the sundried tomatoes, pinenuts, lemon juice, and garlic to the processor. Process the ingredients on high for a few seconds until they are pretty smoothly pureed, then add the romano cheese and scrap down the sides of the bowl. Turn the processor on high again and while processing, drizzle in the olive oil. If the pesto is still too thick, drizzle in a little more olive oil. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy the pesto on sandwiches, wraps, in appetizers, or with pasta!

14 comments so far:

  1. Tim says:

    Hey Amanda!

    Cristin told me that you were up to this so I had to check it out. It looks great – congratulations! I’m so glad that you are doing well.

    P.S. I’m getting married.

    Love ya!

  2. aria says:

    i’m salivating too! and amused! mmmmmmm. i love how you always elevate the humblest of ingredients like collard greens this time. you have a real gift for that. my socks have officially been knocked off, you must post how to achieve these golden polenta cakes!!!! pretty please w/ a scallop on top?!

  3. michellephant says:

    I loooooooooooove scallops and this looks soooooooooooooo gooooooooooooooood (they were having an O sale at Costco and now I bought so many I have to use them all up).

  4. Anna says:

    Your presentations astound me every time. So beautiful! I am sure it tastes even better. I am much intrigued by the pesto. Very interesting combination of collard greens and rosemary polenta. Still more intriguing!
    By the way, I think you would have to drink something like an entire case of Beast Lite to get any calories at all – it’s pale yellow fizzy water, as far as I can tell.

  5. Lea says:

    omg could you please share the recipe for the polenta cake?? That looks to DIE for!!!

    So beautiful! =)

  6. Marianne says:

    Oh, man. That looks so good that I’m craving it at 10 in the morning.

  7. Amanda says:

    OMG!!! Timmy! is it really you? ;-) i of course will be firing you off a long winded email very soon. so we can play a little catch-up, you know! i’m so excited to hear about your relationship and marriage… okay, i’m saving it for the email. Love you!

    thank you sooooooo much aria! :-D (i stopped in for that O sale at Costco that michellephant was talking about) I think i try to elevate humble ingredients because i can’t afford the good ones! oops! should i have let that cat out of the bag? ooooo kitties! damn it. why do cats have to distract me so easily.

    Michelle, thanks for the advice on the O sale at Costco.. i’ve been soooooooooo using them all ooooooover the place because of it. can you believe how cheap they were? ;-) scallops happen to be one of my absolute faaaaavorites. i’m just so broke that i can’t afford to buy them that frequently! (damn them for not being on sale like the O’s)

    Thanks Anna, seriously. My presentation is something that i always feel like i struggle with. sometimes i can hit it. and sometimes i get so aggravated with my inability to physically do what my mind sees! thankfully, this time, it all worked out :-) it really was quite tasty. if you’ve got the time in your busy acedamia schedule, i would go for it. very easy to reproduce. oh yeah, and sadly, i actually do know how many calories are in the tasteless beast light – it’s something like 93/12oz. again, damn us for being poor and still wanting some beer :-P

    thanks lea! i hope i remember everthing for the polenta cakes! i always mean to write the recipes the day i make them (when it’s still all fresh in my mind and stuff). :-)

    marianne! 10 am is my 10pm, so anytime you wanna eat something at a weird time of day, just say “well it’s amanda’s evening right now, and i need to support her!” then get to work, woman, and make yo’self some goodies ;-)

  8. Hermawan says:

    Hi Amanda! your recipes look yummy…! and make we to try the recipes at home!

  9. Marianne says:

    See, I just love the way you think!

  10. Brilynn says:

    Delicious. I love scallops.

  11. PDizzle says:

    duded, awsome website, cool photos to. make a light tent out of muslin cloth, or buy one, and a light table with frosted plexiglass top top make due when the sun goes away.

  12. fabulous pileup and color!

  13. Erin says:

    Hi Amanda:) I was wondering if you could help me with the flowers. Where can I get (or grow) fresh, edible flowers like those in your pic? I am in Alberta, Canada…

    Thanks!

  14. Ainat says:

    Made this! Yum! Salty Collard Greens aren’t my thing but the other components were great and reusable in other meals.

Your comment goes here: