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Seared Scallops with Polenta and Avocado Cream

This seared scallops with polenta is a really impressive dish. It's beautiful but simple and a wonderful dinner party entree. If you can find them, peppadew peppers add a bit of zing, but if you can't, roasted red peppers will work just fine. Shrimp can also be substituted for the scallops, if you prefer. —Katie Pelczar, West Hartford, Connecticut
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 35 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn or frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/4 cup roasted sweet red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 8 sea scallops (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  • In a large skillet, saute onions in half the butter until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add corn and peppers; cook 4-5 minutes longer. Stir in broth and 1/4 teaspoon salt, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle boil; slowly whisk in cornmeal. Cook and stir with a wooden spoon until polenta is thickened and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pan, 15-20 minutes. Stir in cheese. Remove from heat; set aside and keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the avocado, 1/4 cup water, cream and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth, 30 seconds. Add additional water as needed to reach desired consistency. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
  • Sprinkle scallops with remaining salt and pepper. In a large skillet, saute scallops in remaining butter until firm and opaque, 1-2 minutes per side. Serve with polenta and avocado cream.
Nutrition Facts
2 scallops with 1 cup polenta and 2 tablespoons avocado cream: 467 calories, 21g fat (10g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 1773mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 5g fiber), 24g protein.

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