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Recipe

Seared Scallops with Sweet Corn and Bacon Sauté

Servings: 4

Fresh corn sautéed with bacon, shallots, and thyme pairs perfectly with sweet seared scallops. A 12-inch skillet may seem unduly large for cooking the scallops, but it helps guarantee that beautifully browned crust.

Ingredients

  • 3 strips bacon
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. dry white wine
  • 2-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 3 large cobs)
  • 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar; more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-3/4 lb. dry-packed sea scallops, side muscle removed
  • 4 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

Preparation

  • In a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve the bacon fat, and wipe the skillet clean.
  • Return 2 Tbs. of the bacon fat to the skillet, add the butter, and heat over medium heat. Add the scallion whites and shallot, and cook, stirring, for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium high, and cook, scraping the pan to loosen any browned bits, until reduced by about half. Reduce the heat to medium; add the corn and vinegar. Cook, stirring, until the corn is crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper; keep warm over low heat.
  • Pat the scallops dry with paper towels. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp. oil over medium heat until shimmering. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Add half of the scallops to the pan. Cook, undisturbed, until nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate (tent with foil to keep warm). Repeat with the remaining 2 tsp. oil and scallops.
  • Stir the thyme and about 1/4 cup of the scallion greens into the corn, then crumble in the bacon. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar if the corn is super sweet. Divide the corn and scallops among plates, and serve.

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