Cornmeal-Crusted Scallops with Corn Relish
- Corn Relish:
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups corn kernels
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 cup chopped red onions
- 1/2 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
- 1 firm-ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice
- 24 sea scallops (about 1 pound), tough side mussels removed and patted dry
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- 6 teaspoons Essence, plus more for dusting, recipe follows
- 1 cup masa harina
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil
- Chopped fresh herbs, garnish
- Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Corn Relish: In a medium skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the corn and cook, stirring until starting to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper, the cumin, and coriander, and cook, stirring, until fragrant and the corn is caramelized, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
In a bowl, combine the corn and the remaining ingredients. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and let rest for 1 hour before serving.
Scallops: Lightly season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the water and 2 teaspoons of the Essence. In another bowl, combine the masa harina, flour and the remaining 4 teaspoons of Essence. One at a time, dip the scallops in the egg wash, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the masa mixture to coat evenly.
In a medium saucepan, heat enough oil to come 2 inches up the side of the pan over medium-high heat to 365 degrees F. Add the scallops in batches and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and lightly season with Essence. Divide the corn relish among 4 plates and arrange 6 scallops on top. Garnish with the chopped herbs and serve immediately.Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.