Scallops are way up there on my list of favorite foods, and they couldn’t be quicker or easier to cook. Combining scallops with a jam made from our heirloom tomatoes and paired with a cheesy polenta was over-the-top delicious. Although I have always loved eating polenta, I have never actually made it, thinking it was too fussy to deal with. This polenta was as easy as could be however, and cooked up perfect in about 5 minutes. An alternative to polenta which would be just as scrumptious would be a fresh sweet corn puree.
Since we make and sell the heirloom tomato jam (HeathGlen’s jams), I just used a jar of our jam off the shelf and heated it up for the sauce. I’ve included an easy alternative to making a simple tomato jam/sauce with this recipe, however, if you would rather make your own. Either way, you’ll get wonderful results!
Grilled Scallops with Heirloom Tomato Jam over Cheese Polenta
(adapted from a recipe found in CuisineAtHome)
- 3-6 strips bacon, diced
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 8-oz. jar heirloom tomato jam (see below to make your own version)
- 16 large sea scallops (about 16 oz.)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (4 0z); I have used Gouda also for a more mellow taste
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions (optional)
- 1/2 tsp each dosher salt and hot pepper sauce
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Fry bacon pieces in large skillet and pour off most of drippings.
- Make tomato jam (below) or add jar of tomato jam to a small saucepan and gently heat until consistency of sauce
- Using two skewers for each kebab, thread three to four scallops for each serving, set aside
- Start polenta: Bring water and milk to boil in large saucepan over medium heat.
- While waiting for water/milk to come to boil, place scallops on grill. Grill both sides until cooked through 3-4 minutes per side. Watch timing for scallops while making polenta. Scallops will get rubbery if cooked too long. Better to undercook rather than overcook.
- When water-milk mixture has come to boil, gradually whisk in cornmeal. Cook, stirring often, until polenta is thick, about 3 minutes (cooking time will vary according to type of cornmeal. 3 minutes was for ground cornmeal, not coarse).
To make Tomato Jam-Sauce:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp minced scallions
- 1 1/2 tsp lime juice
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, scallions, lime juice and pepper flakes.
- Stir mixture into skillet that bacon was cooked in (along with bacon still in it), and heat through
- Turn off heat and stir in tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cover to keep warm.
To serve: Place a serving of polenta on each plate and top with scallop skewer. Drizzle tomato jam-sauce over scallops and polenta.