Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Smokey Cheese Grits with Seared Scallops

Written By: Chris - Apr• 18•13

The first time we tasted the dish that inspired my recipe was when we were visiting our friends Cynthia and Dan down in Austin TX earlier in the year.  She is a Pampered Chef Consultant and prepared the Cajun Shrimp with Smoked Gouda Grits Pampered Chef Recipe from the 29 minutes to dinner volume 2 cook book they sell.  We loved the dish!

I received some wonderful smoked Cheddar cheese from our friend Dwayne, who is the “best smoker we know”!    He prepared our last Thanksgiving turkey, which everyone raved about and saved me a ton of work!  Anyways, the original dish was made with shrimp smoked Gouda, but since we continue to try to incorporate more and more fish into our daily diets I happened to have a wonderful batch of scallops on hand!  As usual when I’m trying a new dish, I started with the basics from the recipe and of course modified incorporating my own ingredients into the dish.  Although this isn’t a terribly “light” dish, I did take steps to cut out some of the fat by omitting the heavy cream and avoided butter from the grits, which seemed to have been included most other times I’ve eaten them.  I would add something spicier next time as mine was missing the jalapeno that I forgot to buy!  I assure you that this one is worth your time and it really is a pretty quick and easy dish to prepare!!

IMG_7404

Ingredients:

1 Cup Grits (I had to ask at the store; you might find them near the oatmeal!)
2/3 Cup Half & Half
3 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock, homemade is most flavorful!
1 Tablespoon Better than Bullion Chicken Flavor
2 Cups Smoked Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Medium Green Pepper, chopped fine
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (it needs it!)
1/2 Large Onion, chopped fine
3 Large Garlic Cloves, pressed
1 Tablespoon Cajun Seasoning
1 (14.5 oz) Can Tomatoes with Peppers & Onions
1 Can Puree or Crushed Tomatoes
Salt & Pepper, to taste
6 Scallops, rinsed and dried
Grape Seed Oil
Smoke Oil, optional
Salt & Pepper
Fresh Parsley, for garnish

IMG_7395 IMG_7393

In a stock pot, bring chicken stock to a boil and add in the bullion flavoring.  Add the half and half and stir in grits.  Cook according to package directions; mine took about ten minutes, stirring frequently over low heat.

IMG_7385 IMG_7388

IMG_7390

Meanwhile, saute the onions in about a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and peppers.  Cook about three to five minutes until peppers are tender.  Add in the tomatoes (if using crushed smash into smaller pieces).  Season with salt and pepper and heat through. 

IMG_7399

Once Grits are cooked, add the shredded cheese.  Mix until melted completely, cover and set aside while you cook the scallops.

Remove the small tag (side muscle) from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat completely dry with paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_7401

Heat (I prefer to use cast iron) the skillet large enough that the scallops are not crowded in pan over high heat.  Add just enough grape seed and smoke infused oil to trace the bottom of the pan.  Once the oil and butter begin to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other.  Stay near and watch only searing the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side.  (Use a timer!)  They should have a 1/4-inch or so golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center.

IMG_7406

Serve immediately by placing them on a bed of grits.  Spoon on some of the tomato mixture, not to cover scallops completely and garnish with parsley.

We enjoyed this with a silky Kunde Chardonnay and a nice simple pear salad.  I roasted the pear in the toaster oven while I was preparing the other dish.  I used some fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce; topped it with toasted Marcona Almonds, some Cran-raisins, blue cheese crumbles and a vinaigrette.  This is a take off of Laura’s Salad!

IMG_7397

Enjoy!

Cheers!
~Chris

 

Comments

comments

Print Friendly

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

What do you think?