Blackened Sea Scallops over Stone-Ground Grits with Vanilla Beurre Blanc

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.

Yield: 4 servings
Recipe from Oxmoor House

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Ingredients

  • 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
  • Vanilla Beurre Blanc
  • 12 large sea scallops
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh chives, cut into pieces

Preparation

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare Vanilla Beurre Blanc.
  4. Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Place scallops in zip-top plastic freezer bag with cornmeal mixture; seal bag, and toss to coat well.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
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