It's time to take advantage of the beautiful local sweet corn. Fresh corn on the cob, drenched in butter is a beautiful thing, but sweet corn can also be used in a more "fancy" setting. I use those same two ingredients, corn & butter, to make a luxurious purée that goes great with all kinds of meats and seafoods. Scallops in particular work really well with slightly sweet garnishes, so that's what I use here.
Bacon wrapped scallops are kinda old-school, borderline tacky, but they are a cliché for a reason - they are so good. They're great on their own, served as an hors d'oeuvre, but they also work great as an appetizer at a sit-down dinner party. Add some potatoes and sauteed veggies, and this dish easily could work as a main course. The oven dried tomatoes bring a nice tartness to the dish that compliments the sweet popcorn flavour of the purée.
Prep time: 30 minutes. Cooking time 30 minutes + 3hrs to dry the tomatoes Serves 4
12 large scallops
12 strips of bacon
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoon olive oil
6 cobs fresh sweet corn
55g (2oz) cold butter, cubed
salt & pepper
Pre-heat oven to 220F
1. Slice all the cherry tomatoes in half and lay them skin-side down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Season with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven at 220F to let dry. Check about once an hour. Once they are dry to the touch they are done. Will take between 2 - 3 hours depending on your oven.
2. Cut all the kennels off the corn and place them in a sauce-pot, cover with water and add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer until the kernels are very soft - about 30 minutes. Strain & reserve the cooking liquid. Puree the corn in a blender with 1 cup of the cooking water. While the corn is pureeing, add the butter one small cube at a time. Put the puree back on the stove and gently simmer until it reaches the desired thickness. It should have a texture simmer to applesauce.
3. Season the scallops with salt & pepper and them wrap then with bacon, using toothpicks to hold the bacon in place. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a frying pan and sear the scallops on all sides, starting with the bacon side at the seam. To check when they are done, use a thin knife to cut into the center of one scallop and touch the tip of the knife to your lip. If the knife is warm to the touch, they are done. Remove the toothpicks.
Tip: To get a proper sear on the scallops, they need to be spaced apart so that none are touching. They scallops can be fried in batches and kept warm in the oven at 220F with the cherry tomatoes
To serve: Place about 1/2 cup of corn purée on each plate, top with scallops and garnish with oven dried cherry tomatoes.
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