Corn & Potato Chowder with Seared Scallops

one of 4 wines encased in a cellophane tower.
one of 4 wines encased in a cellophane tower.

My friend Jenni, of Lasagna Cupcake fame, expressed a burning desire to find out what I made the other night when I sent her a thank-you photo of my dinner with the single-serving tower of wine she kindly gifted me last month. It was perfect for being able to cook with, and have a few modest sips -especially on a day when I wanted to avert a cold but still relax for the weekend!

Shred some scallions?
Shred some scallions?

The critical tip here is: watch those scallops closely! No more than 3 minutes searing total (90 seconds per side)!

If you read the last post and haven’t tried ribboning scallions, here’s your chance. I was too impatient with the icing, which is why you don’t see any scallion curls in the photos here.

Turkey bacon, yukon gold potato, veggie bouillon for stock, white wine, sweet corn, scallops, lite coconut milk.
Turkey bacon, yukon gold potato, veggie bouillon for stock, white wine, sweet corn, scallops, lite coconut milk.

Original source (pre-substitutions): from Real Simple Magazine.

Corn & Potato Chowder with Seared Scallops
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: ~45 mins
Serves: 3

A filling soup with a meaty seared scallop garnish.

Photo Mar 11, 4 41 47 PM
Seared scallops + turkey bacon sizzling.

Ingredients:
3 slices bacon, cut into small dice (I used turkey bacon this time)
2-3 sea scallops, patted dry
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
1 lone but large yukon gold potato, cut into a 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (or coconut milk, in my case)
1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh (from 2 ears) or frozen
1/4 of a sprig of scallion, diced or julienned into curls
Optional: 1/2 cup canellini beans, rinsed

Directions:

    1. In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes, a little more for turkey. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
Potato city.. too much potato, not enough liquid!
Potato city.. too much potato, not enough liquid!
  1. If you don’t quite have 1 tablespoons of bacon drippings; supplement with olive oil and butter.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high.
  3. Season scallops with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper; cook until golden brown, about 90 seconds per side. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add the onion to the drippings in the skillet and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the potatoes, sear for 2 minutes.
  6. Add beans (optional), wine, broth, and cream/coconut milk; cover partially and reduce heat. Simmer gently until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Add the scallops and corn and simmer gently to heat through. Sprinkle with the scallions and bacon.
Soup with a little white wine pairing!
Soup with a little white wine pairing!

Today’s Trial Recipe Rating:
Novelty Rating: 4 of 5 stars.
I don’t make a lot of creamy soups, so this was delicious, yet not as painfully heavy (or later as unhappy for my stomach) as using cream.
Likelihood of Repeat: 65%
Lesson learned: next time chop the potatoes even smaller, almost pea-sized. When I divided the original recipe proportionately, I ended up with a wet pile of potatoes with corn, and had to add more liquid mix after the fact. I have altered the proportions here for a more soup-like mix. Doesn’t really look like the original recipe’s picture, but whatever. I think I’d use real pork bacon next time, and regular coconut milk rather than lite.

2nd day iteration: canellini beans in the bottom before reheating made it really super filling.
2nd day iteration: canellini beans in the bottom before reheating made it really super filling.

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