RECIPE | Nailed It! My Pan-Seared Scallops with Chorizo and Corn

Recipe Inspiration: (Video: Molly Makes Scallops with Corn and Chorizo)

I recently swapped my Tuesday Tacos, for a delectable Latin-inspired bowl! This vibrant collective of fresh ingredients hit every note; savory, sweet, sour, and a little spice. This dish was light with moments of decadence at the same time. You could easily serve this dish as a Summer appetizer or make it the main event and enjoy on a snowy Tuesday night, like I did. ;o)

Here's how I made it...
- Large Sea Scallops
- Canned Sweet Corn
- Chorizo (smoked is preferred)
- Buttermilk
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Chopped Scallions
- Garlic Powder
- Chilies and/or Peppers
- Cilantro
- Salt
- Pepper
- Lime Quarters
- Avocado (optional)

Instructions: Place Corn in a medium bowl. Heat 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Cook Chorizo, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Cautiously pour the oil from the cooked Chorizo into a small bowl (use a slotted spoon to hold back the Chorizo) and set the Chorizo oil aside. Return Chorizo pan to medium heat and add scallions, garlic, chilies/peppers, 1 Tbsp. EVOO, and ¾ tsp. Salt.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened. Then add Corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until bright yellow and softened, 5–7 minutes (if canned, 1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and let the Corn mixture cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Once cooled, slowly mix in Buttermilk, Cilantro and other spices and aromatics.

Season Scallops generously with salt. Heat reserved Chorizo oil and remaining 1 Tbsp of EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high until just beginning to smoke. Cook scallops on one side, reducing heat if they are taking on too much color and moving around in pan for even browning, until a golden brown crust forms on the bottom, about 3 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and turn scallops over. Add butter to skillet and, using a spoon, baste scallops with butter 30 seconds. Transfer scallops to a plate. Squeeze halved lime over. Divide corn mixture among plates and arrange scallops on top. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

Recipe Substitutions:
- Don't like Chorizo? Try Andouille sausage.
- Don't feel like shucking Corn? Buy a can of Sweet Corn, drain and rinse.
- Not a fan of Buttermilk? Coconut Milk or Heavy Cream will do the trick.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. I will definitely be trying this again.

RECIPE | My Chef Ramsay-Inspired Crispy Salmon, Blender Hollandaise and Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

I am an uncomplicated home cook. I've said it before if it takes more than 7 ingredients... "I'm good, Luv, enjoy." With that, going through this journey of cooking and learning new recipes and techniques has been a very rewarding one. Oh, and a healthy one! I prefer eating real food or food close to its original source. And cooking at home has given me the upper hand in knowing and controlling what actually goes into my meals.

For my next recipe, I solicited the help of a heavyweight in the pop-culture food sphere, Chef Gordon Ramsay. Not personally, of course, but by way of a simple Google query. After searching "Crispy Skin Salmon," his demonstration popped up first, and I didn't have to look any further.

I love salmon. But, what I love most about it is when the skin is crispy! After spending a few minutes watching one of the Masters  prepare salmon, he revealed that the trick to transforming this delicate part of the fish was just a few knife cuts. That's right, creating parallel slits in the skin (aka scoring) of the salmon before dropping it in a hot pan was the trick!

How I made it:

Crispy Salmon - Scoring makes the difference!

- Salmon Filet
- Olive Oil
- Salt
- Herbs (optional)

Helpful Cooking Tools:
- AdeptChef Stainless Steel Fish Spatula

Take a salmon filet, turn it skin side up, and roll / pinch it while placing the meaty portion on the cutting board. Now score the skin layer crosswise about halfway deep into the salmon. Keep your cuts close together for extra crispy skin, and score the whole length on the fish. Scoring the filet prevents it from curling up while it is in your pan, and ensures that your fish will be cooked evenly. Open each score and sprinkle salt and herbs into the openings.

Turn your stove to medium heat and add extra virgin olive oil when the pan is hot. Once the oil starts to slightly smoke, add the salmon skin side down. For a few seconds after placing the salmon in the pan, use your fingers or a fish spatula to press down the top of the filet to keep flat. Now season the top of the filet with salt and leave it alone! That's right, let it cook, don't touch or move it again until the fish is cooked about 2/3rds the way up. Then use a fish spatula and carefully flip the salmon over and tilt the pan, allowing all on the remaining EVOO to coat the top of the salmon. After roughly a minute, flip the salmon back over to the skin side and remove the pan from the heat. Let it rest, then plate. 

Roasted Asparagus and Grape Tomatoes

- Asparagus Spears
- Grape Tomatoes
- Olive Oil
- Salt
- Pepper
- Garlic Powder (optional)
- Onion Powder (optional)

Helpful Cooking Tools:
- Knife
- Parchment Paper

Cut the grape tomatoes in half and chop off the ends of the asparagus, if needed. Lay out parchment paper or aluminum foil on a flat pan or baking sheet and arrange the asparagus and tomatoes on the sheet. Drizzle EVOO across the vegetables. Sprinkle them with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and rub them all together, making sure that each piece is coated in oil and seasoning. To make sure everyone cooks evenly, reorganizing the vegetables on the pan, making sure that the asparagus and tomatoes have enough space between them.

Hollandaise - Blender hack
Most and truly authentic Hollandaise sauces call for a lot of patience and wrist whisking skills. Ain't nobody got time for that. So, I used the infamous and much quicker blender method.

- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Cup of Melted Butter
- White Pepper
- 1/4 Tsp of Dijon Mustard (optional)
- Dash Tobasco Sauce (optional)

Helpful Cooking Tools:
- Ninja BL480 Nutri Ninja Personal Blender 24 oz

In the blender container, combine the egg yolks, white pepper, mustard, lemon juice, and hot pepper sauce. Cover and blend for about 5 seconds. Heat butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until completely melted and hot. Set the blender on high speed, and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in a thin/slow stream. It should thicken almost immediately. Keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender container in a pan of hot tap water.

That's it! This healthy and delectable meal was easy and quick to prepare and felt like a restaurant special cooked right at home!