Plump scallops coated with a spicy cornmeal crust are blackened in a hot skillet. What makes this dish unique is the delicate vanilla sauce that's dribbled over the scallops and creamy grits.
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup uncooked stone-ground grits
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
12 large sea scallops
1 tablespoon olive oil
Fresh chives, cut into pieces
How to Make It
Bring chicken broth to a boil in a 3-qt. saucepan. Meanwhile, combine cornmeal and next 7 ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag. Set aside.
Stir grits into broth, whisking constantly. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until desired thickness, stirring occasionally. Stir in Parmesan cheese and 2 Tbsp. butter. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, prepare Vanilla Beurre Blanc.
Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Place scallops in zip-top plastic freezer bag with cornmeal mixture; seal bag, and toss to coat well.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Place scallops in hot skillet, and cook 3 minutes. Turn scallops, reduce heat to medium, and cook 3 more minutes or just until done.
Just before serving, reheat grits over medium-low heat, adding a little chicken broth, if needed. Spoon grits onto serving plates. Arrange scallops on grits; drizzle with Vanilla Beurre Blanc. Sprinkle with chives. Serve hot.
Christmas with Southern Living 2008
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This dish is AMAZING! I made it for our anniversary dinner. Rich and decadent, but not so much that it's offensive. The dish is nicely balanced and such a wonderful blend of flavors. The slightly spicy cornmeal crust on the scallops, is a beautiful contrast to the creamy stone ground grits. The Vanilla Beurre Blanc....unbelievable. We thought the vanilla was going to ruin the dish, but all it did was enhance it. The beurre blanc ended up having just a subtle hint of the vanilla and really pulled the whole dish together. I didn't add the 1 TBSP of vanilla vodka to the beurre blanc, simply because I didn't have any on hand. I don't think the dish suffered because of the omission. This is definitely not a light meal, with almost 2 sticks of butter, but it is perfect for a special occasion and worth every extra calorie.
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