Seared Scallops on Creamy Polenta with Broccolini

seared scallops

Seared scallops on creamy polenta with broccolini is such a fabulous dish, I promise it will wake up all your taste buds when you eat it, it’s quick enough for midweek and worthy enough for company.

A perfectly seared scallop is pure bliss and when cooked properly the most tender thing in the world, then paired with the corn grits of polenta you’ll be sure to have a match made in food heaven.seared scallops

However there are a few important factors when making this, let’s start with the scallops. You have to buy the large, dry sea scallops, fresh. The smaller bay scallops won’t work for this dish and neither will frozen, they hold on to too much liquid and you’ll never be able to get a good sear on them, which makes all the difference.

Even with the dry scallops I’ll bring them home and layer them between paper towels, just to make sure even the slightest bit of liquid is absorbed.

When you’re ready to sear them I place my heavy bottomed pan on the stove and turn the heat up to get it screeching hot, so hot where smokes starts to rise, so put your fan on and then drizzle the bottom with olive oil, just to get it heated and never use a nonstick pan you won’t get a good sear at all.

Salt and pepper one side of the scallops and place the seasoned side down in the oiled pan which you’ve now turned down to medium high and don’t move them until you can see a deep sear on the bottom, maybe three minutes or so, but honestly looking at them is more accurate.

When you see that deep sear on the scallops turn them over and basically take them out, they’re finished, they’ll continue to cook slightly after you remove them. With this method they’ll be sure to come out perfect every single time.

 

seared scallops

Regarding the polenta, the secret to making it nice and creamy is the ratio of liquid to cornmeal. I only know what is a success for me and works every time and that is, 1 part polenta to 5 parts liquid, finished off with some butter and a splash of half and half.

Any less liquid and it will become too thick and seize up, especially when cooling down. With this method even if it sits a few minutes it will remain creamy, and that’s what you want for this dish, smooth and creamy with no lumps.

You can serve this on a wooden board or a platter as I did, and you can change up the greens of your choice, I love it with the broccolini but I think any green would be good, even kernels of corn would be nice.

Either way I guarantee you’ll have a fabulous meal!

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Seared Scallops on Creamy Polenta with Broccolini
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. large sea scallops, dry and fresh
  • 1 small bunch of broccolini, trimmed and pre-cooked
  • 1 cup of polenta, I used quick cooking polenta
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • large knob of butter
  • splash of half and half or cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Start out heating up your pan until it's screeching hot as stated in my post.
  2. Have the scallops seasoned and ready for searing as stated in my post.
  3. Proceed to make the polenta, getting the broth and water to a boil, then whisking in the polenta, lower the heat so it doesn't spit all over, but keep whisking until it all comes together.
  4. When the polenta comes together, remove from the heat and add the knob of butter and all the cheese, stir til combined then add a nice splash of cream or half and half.
  5. Get your scallops seared and ready for plating using the method I stated in my post.
  6. Pour the creamy polenta on to your platter or board, then placed the seared scallops all around and top with the cooked broccolini.
  7. Do a quick drizzle of olive oil on top and that's it, enjoy!

 

 

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Comments

  1. This is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all day and am likely to see. Everything about it is luscious – from the polenta to the broccolini to the scallops. All your tips are spot on too, Marie!

  2. Love this recipe and your instructions with regard to the scallops will insure success for even a novice in the kitchen. Taste, color, texture – what more could one want!

  3. Those scallops are beautifully seared, Maria. And I love scallops… this recipe is right up my alley.

  4. Mary Ann Williams says

    Marie, I made this last night – my daughter & her husband loved it. . I have never had Polenta so creamy.
    You are a genius. Keep it up. The scallops were perfectly seared according to your directions. This is something that should not be “overcooked” and your recipe was perfect.
    I’ll be constantly checking your blog for new recipes – even though I do not cook as much. My granddaughter is coming this evening after work, can’t wait until she tries it.