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What's Up Magazine

Sweet Corn Crema and Scallops

Jun 11, 2013 09:48PM ● By Anonymous

How long have you been in the restaurant industry?
I have been cooking for eight years. I got my start in chef John Keller’s classroom at Kent County High School, where I was hooked from day one. Chef Tom Pizzica, then of the Imperial Hotel in Chestertown, gave me my first taste of the professional kitchen, and I have never looked back.

What is your philosophy on food?
The way I look at food is constantly evolving, but a few basic principles remain: keep it fresh, keep it local; don’t smother flavors, accentuate them.

As a chef, you are an artist. Where do you find inspiration for your dishes?
Local availability, seasonal changes, and my time spent outdoors, often times pursuing the species of fish and game that end up on our menus.

If you found out the world was going to end tomorrow, what would be your last meal?
I’d be torn between exceptional sushi or my dad’s cooking, leaning towards the latter. His comfort food classics are some of my earliest and fondest food memories.

How did this dish originate?
This is a spin on a dish I served while cooking in Boston with chef Anthony Mazzato, where summer on the Cape is strikingly similar to summer here on the Shore. The dish plays well in any locale where sailboats and striped bass are found, and is really the essence of what I feel a summer dish should be.

What wine or drink pairs best?
A buttery California Chardonnay. The oak gives the wine a rich, creamy feeling that plays well with both the corn and the scallops.

What is the most important step when cooking it?
The sear on the scallops makes the dish. You want a nice, even, caramel color across the top of each scallop, which brings out the natural sweetness in them. A screaming hot pan and good salt “crust” is key.

Sweet Corn Crema and Pan Seared Scallops { Serves 4 }

Sweet Corn Crema
1 Qt. fresh sweet corn, shaved off of cob
1 Cup small diced bacon
2 Cups small diced onion
2 Cups heavy cream
1 Cup thinly sliced scallion
Lemon, salt, and pepper to taste

In a large pan, add the diced bacon and cook until crispy, rendering out all fat. Add diced onions and cook until clear, then add corn. Add cream and simmer until reduced by half. Add lemon, salt, and pepper to taste. Finish by garnishing with sliced scallion.

*Depending on the corn, lemon may or may not be needed to “brighten” the dish.

Pan Seared Scallops
16 Large, dry-packed scallops
2 Oz. canola oil
2 Oz. butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Place scallops, prettiest side down, on a paper towel. Heat a large pan until gently smoking. Add oil. Season and add scallops, “presentation” side down into the pan, gently pressing them into the pan. Reduce heat to half, and cook, without moving the scallops, for 1 minute. Rotate each scallop and continue cooking 1 minute. Don’t peek. Add butter and fl ip the scallops. Gently toss the foaming butter over each scallop, cooking for 2 more minutes.

To Finish
Place a mound of Crema in the middle of a large bowl, and set the scallops in a diamond pattern on top, golden side up. We finish this dish with grilled scallions, parsley, oil, and crispy pancetta.

Osprey Point Inn, Restaurant and Marina
20786 Rock Hall Avenue, Rock Hall