This dish was inspired by a meal I had out about a week ago at Manhattan Beach Post. I had a co-worker in town from Malaysia and used the opportunity to take her to a restaurant that I felt could give her the entire California experience in one go – a few blocks from the sand in Manhattan Beach, a predictably warm (though never tiresome) pier lighting ceremony for the holiday season, some good food in a fun atmosphere, and some stereotypical Los Angeles girls sitting at the communal table across from us. The dinner was a success on all fronts.
It’s about this time of year that I need to pump the brakes on fall and winter dishes. Each September and October as the weather starts to change I get so excited to start cooking soups, stews and the like, that by about Thanksgiving the thought of an ale-based dish stops me in my tracks. This is just the opposite. And although it is not the exact same as what we ate at the Post that night, it certainly gets the job done.
Scallops are a sweet food, and take particularly well to sweet flavors, like curry, for example. This is a savory dish, but the combination of tartness from the kefir in the polenta and the sweetness from the fresh corn and pomegranate is a welcomed change after all the mashed potatoes and gravy you ate this week. And like all Rooted dishes, it is based around lean protein and a moderate source of carbohydrate. So eat it, then get ready for plenty more meat pies and stews as the lean winter months fully engulf us.
1-1.5 lbs large scallops
1.5 cups polenta
1 cup kefir
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 t cane sugar
1 ear of corn, kernels removed
seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
Total time: 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the corn kernels, pomegranate, and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook about 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat.
Combine the polenta, kefir, chicken stock, and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring regularly. Cook until the consistency oatmeal and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat about a tablespoon of butter in a large, oven-safe skillet. Add the scallops and season with salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes per side, allowing to brown, then transfer to heated oven for about 5-7 minutes, being careful not to over cook.
Reheat polenta and corn mix if necessary. Plate scallops on a bed of polenta with corn and pomegranate. Top with fresh chives.
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Recipe ID: 1969