Showing posts with label corn kernels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label corn kernels. Show all posts

Monday, April 18, 2016

Presenting: Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Roasted Corn and Pea Purée

Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Roasted Corn and Pea Purée

Call this a continuation of my recipe redux post from last September...

Inspiration Behind the Dish

Last autumn, I prepared a scallops dish for my friend, Gwen, at Simply Healthy Family. If you click through to the post I wrote for her, I describe the evening I prepared the dish when my daughter finished her scallops and asked for more, which was unusual for a dish that's not kid favorites, such as burgers and pizza. She remembered the experience because she recently asked when are you going to cook scallops again? so I decided to use the opportunity to replicate the first scallops dish I published here because, even then, I was unhappy with it's execution.

Dish Details

I hope that this dish would be at home on any fine dining menu. For it, I used the same pea purée that I utilized in the dish I referenced above (however I omitted the tarragon sprig since I didn't have any fresh tarragon that evening) and my tried and true technique I've utilized since I figured it out two years ago. I also adapted the corn salsa I originally paired with pork chops.


3 ounces bacon, diced
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces U-10 sea scallops
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Lemon thyme leaves, for garnish


1. Roast the corn. In a medium skillet, render the bacon fat over medium heat until just shy of being crisp, approximately two to three minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate, then drain the bacon fat from the skillet and reserve for another use.

Add the corn to the same skillet where the bacon was prepared and roast until brown over medium heat, stirring periodically, approximately twelve to fifteen minutes. Remove the corn to a bowl, then combine with the bacon pieces and season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Purée the peas. Start on the peas while the corn is roasting. To do so, combine the peas and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cover. Check the peas every three minutes until the peas are soft. Once velvety, strain the fluid from the peas but reserve the fluid. Purée the peas in a blender, adding the reserved liquid and one tablespoon olive oil until the purée is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Sear the scallops. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over high heat. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels, then season both sides with salt and pepper. Sear the scallops on one side only until browned, approximately sixty to ninety seconds. Remove to a plate to allow for carryover cooking. To plate, smear two tablespoons pea purée, onto a round plate, top with three scallops close together so they resemble a triangle, spoon some of the corn mixture over the scallops, then garnish with the lemon thyme leaves.

Final Thoughts

I remember watching a TV show that only lasted for one season on Bravo Network about five years ago called Rocco's Dinner Party. Each episode started with three chefs that prepared a dish in a qualifying round, then two of the three moved forward to host a dinner party for Chef Rocco DiSpirito and his celebrity friends. The chef who did the best won a cash prize. In one episode, Chef DiSpirito was thoroughly unimpressed in a qualifying round when one of the contestants prepared a dish using the combination of scallops, corn and bacon.

My point is the flavor affinity of this dish isn't very creative, however the picture of the finished dish is now my new favorite. I gave my friend, Faith of An Edible Mosaic and Healthy Sweet Eats, an advanced copy of the picture of the finished dish and one of the things she liked about it is the use of negative space: the way the food was concentrated on the center of the plate and the black plate against the white background. I've noticed that a plate with multiple contrasting colors on it is more visually appealing, so I'm very proud of the six colors on this dish. In fact, this photo has replaced my steak au poivre picture as my lock screen wallpaper on my phone.

Finally, my daughter finished her dinner the evening I prepared this dish just as quickly as she did last autumn and she's requested I prepare it again.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pan-Seared Halibut with Corn Hash and Asparagus Pureé for a Music-Inspired #SundaySupper

Pan-Seared Halibut with Corn Hash and Asparagus Pureé

A little bit of behind the scenes notes for the last couple of dishes. Let me first start by noting that I hate to leave my work to the last minute, but sadly that was not the case with the dessert I published last week. I planned on preparing the dish Thursday evening, but Mrs. Stuntman was not home unexpectedly that evening. I don't remember what prevented me from preparing the dessert on Friday, but suffice to say, it didn't get done. In fact, the picture of the dessert was taken only hours before it was published. I had competed in the rib competition earlier that Saturday and was tired when I returned home. I finally gathered enough energy about 7pm to prepare and finalize the dish which I completed about 3 hours later. I was still writing about the dish until about 1am Sunday morning when I could no longer keep my eyes open and scheduled the dish to be published at 1:30am.

So on Sunday evening I was reviewing the themes for upcoming #SundaySupper events and this one sounded like fun. The theme is dishes inspired by music. So Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was spent picking a song and conceptualizing a dish using my copy of The Flavor Bible. Once finalized, I committed to it Wednesday afternoon and was going to purchase my ingredients on Thursday morning to prepare that evening but I woke up with an immobilizing toe injury. I could move but not without discomfort and even going from room to room took minutes, not seconds. Thursday evening, Mrs. Stuntman even had to buy a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket deli because I couldn't cook any dinner that evening, much less one of sufficient quality for this publication. Friday I was downing pain meds like candy and was able to suffer through the preparation of a favorite dish but I had to wait an hour for the pain in my foot to subside before I could plate it. I was close to emailing Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen (this week's host) to back out of my commitment but decided to wait until Saturday morning to confirm. Low and behold, Saturday I was still in pain but was bearable and was able to make it to the store. So here I was again, back on a Saturday evening hours before my deadline cooking the dish I was supposed to publish in just hours. It was 10:30pm last night Pacific Standard Time before I tasted my dinner.

Thankfully, the dish itself softened the blow. More on that later.

I would argue that tastes in music are even more subjective than tastes in food. Take a look at the wide variety of genres that inspired the dishes below and you'll see. In high school, I started out in the late 1980s listening to those hair bands. These bands didn't have a dedicated radio station so the only place I could find their music were these rock stations that mixed in some 1970s music (think Led Zeppelin, the Who, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, etc.) By the time I graduated high school, I was completely frustrated with even MTV because their playlist consisted of about a half-dozen songs, but I found blues listening to Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. From there, I found Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, and B. B. King, just to name a few. One upper division course I was able to take while attending college and have it count towards my degree was a jazz history course and have been hooked ever since.

My favorites? I like older material such as Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Herbie Hancock, and John Coltrane. I believe "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis is the single best piece of recorded music that was made in the 20th century. Another favorite is the live version of Dinah Washington's song, Fast Movin' Mama. (I almost got into an accident the first time I heard it because I was driving at the time and laughing so hard.) Some more contemporary musicians I recommend are Dee Dee Bridgewater, Regina Carter and Dianne Reeves. I can tell that I'm getting old because I hear the lists of Grammy nominations every winter and have never heard of most of the nominees, let alone heard their music. I've found that there is a certain charm in older music that is missing in music published today: Deeper lyrical content and the restraint shown to simply imply rather than the need for many musicians to describe in graphic detail. For example, as I was doing research for this dish I remember reading something somewhere which made the point that many jazz songs which reference food are euphemisms for sex.

Don't worry. The song that provided inspiration for this dish may be taken at face value. It's about two buddies going to a house party in New Orleans one evening long ago that got raided by the police. I only noted a dish inspired by Ella Fitzgerald and a second one inspired by Etta James this week but I felt there needed to be more representation of old school music. Besides the obvious reference to food in the title, I picked this song in particular because Louis Jordan was referenced as a major influence among those that laid the foundation for rock and roll sixty years ago. (Think Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, and Little Richard and others.) In fact, Saturday Night Fish Fry has been considered by many as the first rock and roll song.

The Challenge

One of the reasons why I waited to finalize a concept for this dish was because halibut went on sale on Wednesday. (I also considered Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones and The Lemon Song by Led Zeppelin.) When I thought of fried fish, I kept thinking fish and chips which was confirmed by The Flavor Bible which noted asparagus, lemon, potatoes and spinach as complementary ingredients to halibut.

The Source

I adapted the halibut from Food Network; the hash from Food & Wine; and the pureé from epicurious.


1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch lengths
2 teaspoons lemon juice
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large russet potato (approximately 1 pound)
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups spinach leaves (approximately 2 ounces) rinsed and dried, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 halibut fillets (6 to 8 ounces each)


1. Prepare the pureé: In a medium saucepan, bring well salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and boil until tender, about 6 minutes. Remove the asparagus to a blender with a slotted spoon and pureé, reserving 1 cup of the boiling water. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. If the consistency is too thick, add the reserved water as necessary and pureé until smooth. Keep warm in that saucepan while you prepare the other components.

2. Prepare the hash: Place the potato in a small saucepan and fill with water until the potato is completely submerged and bring to a boil over high heat. Add a large pinch of salt and cook until just tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove the potato with the slotted spoon and reserve. When cool enough to handle, cut potato into a medium dice. (It may not be cooked all the way through.) Add the corn into the same boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, approximately 3 minutes. Drain, pat dry with paper towels and reserve. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook until lightly browned, approximately 5 minutes. Add in the reserved corn and cook until lightly toasted, approximately 3 minutes. Add the 3 cups spinach and cook until wilted, approximately 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from heat, but immediately add the parmesan and stir to melt.

3. Sear the halibut and finish the dish: While the corn and potatoes are cooking in the pan, heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and season the fillets with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, add the fillets to the pan and sear for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove to a platter to allow for any carryover cooking. To plate, spoon a tablespoon of the pureé onto a plate. Place a spoonful of hash onto the pureé, then top the hash with the fillet and garnish with torn spinach leaves.


I was surprised how well-balanced this dish is considering the conditions in which it was constructed. The sweetness of the corn balanced the hit of acidity in the pureé with the savory fish and potatoes. Mrs. Stuntman especially enjoyed the pureé and thought it was the best component of the dish. Overall, the dish contained the complexities of flavor expected in any fine dining establishment. Lastly, you'll be glad to know that I can guarantee I won't be rushing my next dish because I've already prepared it.

For reference (and in case you haven't heard the song), it was uploaded to YouTube and can be listened to below:

Other Sunday Supper Participants

And finally, please check out this week's other Sunday Supper contributors:

Prelude (Beverages):

Calimocho (Red Red Wine Cocktail) from La Cocina de Leslie inspired by Red Red Wine by UB40
Dark & Stormy Cocktail Recipe from An Appealing Plan inspired by Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen
Horchata from Treats & Trinkets inspired by Horchata by Vampire Weekend
Orange Crush from Magnolia Days inspired by Orange Crush by REM
Pineapple Lemonade Slushy with Coconut Water from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz inspired by Lemon Tree by Peter, Paul & Mary
Strawberry Tequila from Shockingly Delicious inspired by Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles

Overture (Appetizers):

Mustard Dill Beer Bread from Curious Cuisiniere inspired by In Heaven There Is No Beer a German Polka

Intermezzo (Entrees & Sides):

Chicken and Bacon Cheddar Waffles from I Run For Wine inspired by Glady’s Knight
Classic Fried Chicken from The Food Army Wife inspired by Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band
Margarita Chicken from In The Kitchen With KP inspired by Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffet
Meatball Duet from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings inspired by On Top of Spaghetti by Tom Glazer
Pan-Seared Halibut with Corn Hash and Asparagus Puree from Crazy Foodie Stunts inspired by Saturday Night Fish Fry by Louis Jordan
Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy BBQ Pulled Pork from Neighborfood inspired by Something Like That by Tim McGraw
Spaghetti and Pork Meatballs from Family Foodie inspired by On Top of Spaghetti by Kidsongs
Teriyaki Burger from Juanita’s Cocina inspired by Cheeseburger in Paradise by Jimmy Buffet

Finale (Desserts):

Banana Cream Pie Bars from Peanut Butter and Peppers inspired by Tra La La Song by The Banana Splits
Banana Pancake Ice Cream with Maple Brittle from Foxes Love Lemons inspired by Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson
Cherry Pie from My Cute Bride inspired by Cherry Pie by Warrant
Cherry Marshmallows from Pies and Plots
Chocolate Cappuccino Cream Puffs from Runner’s Tales inspired by Choux Pastry Heart by Corinne Bailey Rae
Chocolate Chip, Walnut and Caramel Banana Bread Ice Cream Sandwich from Ruffles & Truffles inspired by Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani
Chocolate Covered Caramels from Big Bear’s Wife inspired by At Last by Etta James
Coconut Rum Blondies from Gotta Get Baked inspired by I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts by Danny Kaye
Easy Blueberry Recipe: Fruit Tart from Growing Up Gabel inspired by Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino
Espresso Nib Ice Cream from Vintage Kitchen Notes inspired by Black Coffee by Ella Fitzgerald
Fancy Watermelon Lime Popsicles from Daily Dish Recipes inspired by Watermelon Crawl by Tracy Byrd
Fresh Peach Pie from Killer Bunnies, Inc. inspired by Sweet Sweet Pie by PWEI
Jammin’ Oatmeal Cookies from What Smells So Good? inspired by Jammin’ by Bob Marley
Many Flavors Whipped Cream from Noshing with the Nolands inspired by Whipped Cream and Other Delights by Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass
Peach Basil Pie from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen inspired by Peaches by POTUSA
Pina Colada Poke Cake from Cookin’ Mimi inspired by Two Pina Coladas by Garth Brooks
Peach Donuts with Brown Sugar from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks inspired by Peaches by POTUSA
Peach Strudel with Honey Bourbon Frozen Yogurt from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures inspired by My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music & Wild Honey by U2
Rainbow Pops from The Urban Mrs inspired by Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice
Salted Ripple Chip No-Churn Ice Cream from Cupcakes & Kale Chips inspired by Ice Cream by Sarah McLachlan
Salted Peanut Swirl Peanut Butter Ice Cream from girlichef inspired by Salt Peanuts by The Quintet
Shall We Dance? Fairy Cakes from The Ninja Baker inspired by Shall We Dance from the Japanese Film
Sugar Crusted Zucchini Bread from That Skinny Chick Can Bake inspired by Sugar, Sugar by the Archies
Tangerine Sorbet from Webicurean inspired by Tangerine Speedo by Caviar
Yeasted Banana Bread from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner inspired by I Like Bread and Butter by The New Beats

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here ? Sunday Supper Movement.