PAN-SEARED SEA SCALLOPS WITH BACON CORN RELISH (for four)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound large sea scallops, tough tendon removed
5 slices bacon, diced small
½ red bell pepper, diced small
½ green bell pepper, diced small
½ red onion, diced small
4 ears sweet corn, blanched in boiling water 1 minute and kernels sliced off
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons lime juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add scallops, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, unmoved, until almost cooked – they should be opaque almost all the way through. Flip them over and sear for only 1 minute. Remove scallops from pan and set aside.
2. In same pan, cook bacon over medium high heat until crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Drain almost all bacon fat from pan, add peppers and onion and cook 2 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Add corn and cook 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Stir in bacon.
3. Remove mixture from heat. Add cilantro, lime juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well.
4. Place a generous amount of relish on each plate, top with a quarter of the scallops and serve at once.
adapted from Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby, printed in Florence Fabricant’s The New York Times Seafood Cookbook