Sunday, September 30, 2012
This dish is inspired by the recipe for "Seared Day-Boat Scallops with Collards, Potlikker, and Crisp Grit Disks" in "A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen" by Hugh Acheson. I choose to make this recipe because the leftovers from butter poached shrimp with grits and collard greens, make up everything needed for this dish except for the scallops. I like how these ingredients became two different dishes!
Warm up the collard greens until they are hot.
For the grit cakes, I simply cut a rectangular piece (Acheson suggested circles, but I used rectangles so there is less waste) and pan fried it in butter until the edge browned. I should have cooked out a little bit more water from the grits before I let them firm up; that's why they didn't slice cleanly, and weren't easy to pan fry.
I bought 3 large scallops for each person, and rinsed and patted them dry with paper towels. Acheson notes that some of the keys to searing scallops are that the seafood is dry, to not crowd the pan, and to have patience and not turn them too soon. I seared the scallops in butter for about 3 - 4 minutes each side. Next time I would make the pan a little bit hotter in order to get more color, and only sear for 3 minutes, and use more butter, since my scallops were sticking a bit.
To assemble, simple put a grit cake off center on a plate, and spoon some collards in the center of the plate (in the picture mine aren't actually off center, but if the grit cakes were firm, then I do agree with Acheson that this would probably look nice) with 3 scallops arranged on top. Drizzle 1/8 cup per person of potlikker jus mixed with 1/4 Tbsp of butter on top.