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Scallops and Fried Tomatoes

Cappesante e Pomodori Fritti


Beware when purchasing scallops, the best ones are diver or day boat scallops.  Diver scallops are collected by hand by divers and they are the largest size – perfect for grilling.  Day boat scallops are those that are harvested in a day rather than the traditional method of dredging for up to ten days at sea.  Do not buy scallops that are water injected.  You will pay for unnecessary weight due to the water, and water-injected scallops will never brown.


16 large diver or day boat sea scallops

Fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup stone-ground cornmeal

2 large beefsteak tomatoes, thickly cut into 4 round slices

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1/2 cup dry white wine


Dry the scallops on paper towels.  Transfer the scallops to a dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Season the cornmeal with salt and pepper.  Place it on a plate, and coat each tomato slice on both sides with the mixture.

In a large sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat.  Brown the tomato slices on both sides until mice and crusty.  Transfer them to a dish and keep them warm.

Wipe out the sauté pan.  Melt 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter in the pan, and increase the heat to high.  Sear the scallops on each side for about 2 minutes, or until they are nicely browned.  Add the remaining butter, gently toss the scallops in the butter, and cook about 3 minutes, turning the scallops frequently.  Pour in the wine, and cook for about 2 minutes, scraping up the bots from the bottom of the pan.

Stack 2 tomato slices in the center of each of 4 plates.  Place 4 scallops on top of the tomato slices, and spoon some of the pan juices over them.  Serve hot.

Chef’s Secret:  Stone-ground cornmeal contains the hull and the germ, making it a healthier choice than regular processed cornmeal.  Once opened, store it in containers in the refrigerator to keep the oils present in the cornmeal fresh and to prevent it from turning rancid.

 This recipe is from Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites by Mary Ann Esposito.


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