Have you ever walked into the grocery store and just looked around aimlessly and lost? I know, not the best visual from a foodie who loves to cook, but last weekend we were having Gary’s daughter and new beau over for dinner and every ounce of cooking creativity had left the building. I had no idea what we were going to make and they were due over in less than 2 hours…..
Walking by the chef’s prepared items of my local Central Market I scanned the cases trying to find inspiration. Though everything was beautiful, nothing popped. I called my mom, who offered some good ideas but still nothing that really stuck. Wandering to the meat and fish case it finally hit me – Gary loves scallops more than anything and I love salmon, so I opted to do a little something with both of them (salmon recipe will follow later….)
I chose 6 jumbo scallops and scurried over to the produce aisle and picked up a mango, red onion, red pepper, pineapple, cilantro and lime and I knew I had a bag of frozen corn in my freezer – the first course was envisioned, and luckily everything was fresh and quick to prepare for a delicious appetizer course.
We paired with a Chardonnay from Carneros, Ancien. We had visited Ancien a few years ago and are big fans of both their Pinot Noir, which nicely balances expressive berry and cherry flavors with earthy, forest floor notes, and this classic California Chardonnay which does have those malolactic, creamy charateristics without being a vanilla or butter bomb. Instead it is light and delicate wine with bright acidity, good texture and weight with apple, pear, tropical fruit and citrus notes. A perfect pair.
Seared Sea Scallops with Pineapple, Mango and Corn Chutney
6 large sea scallops (the guys got 2 each)
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
For the chutney:
1/2 cup fresh mango, chopped into small bites
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped into small bites
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
2 tablespoons red bell pepper, chopped into small bites
1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn, thawed
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon salt and pepper each
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lime and 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno
Combine all the ingredients for the chutney in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and allow to meld together for at least an hour letting all the flavors combine.
When ready to cook rinse the scallops in cold water then pat very dry. Dust lightly on one side with the garam masala and salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the scallops seasoned side down in the oil and dust the other side with the spices. Cook the scallops until the bottom has become nicely browned and crisp. (Don’t try to move them around a lot, when they have browned they will be easy to flip.) Flip over and cook until the other side has done the same (about 5 minutes total.) To serve family style, pour the chutney onto a platter and top with the scallops. Garnish with a bit of chopped cilantro or chives. For individual servings plate each scallop on a dish and spoon a few tablespoons of chutney over each one.