Seared Scallops on Corn "Cream" – Not to Sound Corny, But This is Summer in a Bowl

This seared scallops on fresh corn “cream, ” shows that you can take a few seasonal ingredients, put them together simply and quickly, and with a little luck, and a very hot pan, produce something pretty special.  

There are three keys to producing sufficiently seared scallops. First, they must be perfectly dry. Second, the oil goes on the cold scallops, not in the hot pan. Third, your pan must be extremely hot, which means you have to use a very heavy, cast iron or stainless steel pan.

That bit of brown caramelization on the edges of the scallops might not look like a big deal, but it is. It’s a huge deal, and makes a tremendous difference in the final flavor. So, if you have the ways and means, I highly recommend you follow the procedure as shown.

As you’ll see, I used fresh white corn, but frozen will work in a pinch, although using that in August is almost a crime against nature, but let your conscience be your guide. Also, frozen corn is almost always yellow, and I really prefer the color of the white corn here. In any case, I hope you give this delicious, and very summery scallop dish a try soon. Enjoy!  


For 4 first-course sized portions:
For the corn “cream":
2 ears white corn
2 tbsp butter
salt to taste
1 cup chicken broth or water
pinch of cayenne
For the scallops:
12 large scallops
2 tsp high-heat vegetable oil (like canola or grape seed oil)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika, or to taste
1 tsp kosher salt
1 red fresno chili, sliced thin (I glazed my pepper rings in the hot pan with a slash of water, a small chunk of butter, and juice of 1/2 lemon)
radish sprouts to garnish