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Seared Sea Scallops over Tomato Bacon Jam & Herb Infused Grits

This dish is the love child of two farmers markets visits in one day.  I scored some gorgeous tomatoes at my morning market and sweet sea scallops from my evening market.  Then in my one mile drive home I came up with this recipe.  It’s that simple.  Let me break down Seared Sea Scallops {over Tomato Bacon Jam & Herb Infused Grits} layer by layer.

Farmers Market tomatoes

Tomato Bacon Jam is made with simple ingredients that cook slowly until nice, thick and jammy.  I started the jam first so it had time to work it’s magic.  The longer you let it simmer the more the ingredients caramelize letting the flavors come to life.  Plan on a good 45 minutes.

Tomato Bacon Jam

Herb Infused Grits

While the jam was getting happy I started on the Herb Infused Grits.  For the cooking liquid, I combined cream, water and butter with sprigs of fresh sage and thyme.  I brought the herb liquid to a boil and then removed it from the heat and covered it, allowing the herbs to steep for 20 minutes or so.  When I was ready to prepare the grits I just removed the herbs, returned the liquid to a boil and whisked in the grits per the instructions.  The addition of the fresh herbs transformed our 5-minute quick grits into a savory goodness.

Seared Sea Scallops

The final layer of this dish is perhaps my most favorite food, Sea Scallops.  While I love them any way they are served my favorite is to simply give them a good sear.

Here are a few tips to achieve perfectly seared sea scallops:

  1. Be sure the scallops are thoroughly dry (pat with paper towels).
  2. Preheat skillet over high heat; add 1-2 Tbl. high heat oil, such as sunflower or peanut.
  3. Once the oil is hot (should be shimmering or just beginning to smoke), place scallops in skillet, spaced at least an inch apart.  Cook undisturbed for 1 1/2 minutes.  Use tongs to turn scallops and cook for an additional 1 1/2 minutes.
  4. Do not overcook.  Scallops should be nicely browned on the tops and bottoms and translucent in the centers.

Herb Infused Grits topped with Tomato Bacon Jam & Seared Sea Scallops

To serve, spoon herb infused grits onto plates.  Top with a couple spoonfuls of warm tomato bacon jam.  Place seared sea scallops on top. Sprinkle with snipped chives.  Watch your husband’s eyes fill with love.

Herb Infused Grits topped with Tomato Bacon Jam & Seared Sea Scallops5

Seared Sea Scallops {over Tomato Bacon Jam & Herb Infused Grits}
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Tomato bacon jam (recipe link in post)
For the herb infused grits
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup quick grits (not instant)
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh herbs
  • 1 Tbl. butter
  • salt & pepper
For the sea scallops
  • ½ - 1 lb. of sea scallops, rinsed & thoroughly dried
  • 1-2 Tbl. high heat oil, such as canola, sunflower or peanut
  • fresh chives for garnish
Instructions
  1. Prepare tomato bacon jam. Reserve.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine water, cream, butter and fresh herbs. Bring liquid just to a boil, then cover and remove from heat. Allow herbs to steep for 15 - 20 minutes. When ready to prepare grits, remove fresh herbs and discard. Return cooking liquid to a boil. Gently whisk in grits and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for 5 - 10 minutes or until grits are tender and creamy. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Reserve.
  3. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat. Add oil and once shimmering (almost smoking) place scallops in pan, at least 1-inch apart. Sear for 1½ minutes, then turn over and sear 2nd side for 1½ minutes. Scallops should nicely browned on the tops and bottoms and translucent in the center.
  4. To serve, spoon grits onto plates. Top with a couple of spoonfuls of warm tomato bacon jam. Place sea scallops on top. Sprinkle with snipped chives.

 

 

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