Scallops with Corn and Scallion Cream

Summer’s fresh, sweet corn is the perfect partner for succulent sea scallops in this recipe for Scallops with Corn and Scallion Cream. The recipe pairs quickly seared scallops with a flavorful sauce of fresh corn kernels, chopped green onions, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and heavy cream.

The sauce is a nice change of pace from the strained creamed sauces often served in restaurants, providing texture from the corn, as well as a bit of spiciness from the garlic and red pepper flakes. Although the recipe calls for a large dose of heavy cream, you can trim the fat content by replacing part of the cream with low-sodium chicken broth or bottled clam juice.

Add one and a half cups of either liquid after you’ve deglazed the pan with a bit of wine, then reduce it by half. Whisk in two tablespoons of heavy cream and bring the sauce back up to a boil before serving. You’ll end up with a creamy sauce with much less fat. Serve your sauced scallops with garlic mashed potatoes, as the center of a special meal. The scallops also make a wonderful first course before an entree of grilled filet mignon.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ear fresh corn, shucked, cleaned and kernels cut from the cob
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound sea scallops
Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn and green onion and saute until onions are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, cayenne and hot pepper flakes and saute for 2 minutes more. Add wine to deglaze the pan, stirring well and cooking until all wine is evaporated. Add heavy cream, lower the heat and simmer until reduced by 1/3.

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for several minutes. Season scallops on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add scallops, being careful not to crowd them in the pan. Sear scallops for 2 minutes per side and remove from the skillet before centers become opaque. Spoon some of the sauce on each plate and top with the scallops.

Makes 4 main dish or 6 first course servings.