Ah, the joy of a steaming bowl of chowder that warms your soul and delights your senses! Today, I am thrilled to unveil my secret recipe for a truly unforgettable dish—Creamy Scallop and Corn Chowder. With its velvety texture, rich flavors, and the delightful combination of plump scallops and fresh corn, this recipe is a celebration of culinary artistry. As we embark on this flavor-packed adventure together, I’ll guide you through each step, ensuring you create a bowl of chowder that will have your guests begging for seconds. So, let’s gather our ingredients and embark on this delectable journey!
Scallop and Corn Chowder
- 1 large skillet
- 1 plate
- 4 serving bowls
- 1½ pounds large, fresh sea scallops
- 5 slices lean turkey bacon
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ pound Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (peeled or unpeeled)
- 1 cup fresh (about 2 ears worth) or frozen white corn
- 1 cup low fat, low sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup dry white wine (or an additional 1/2 cup chicken broth)
- ½ cup fat free half and half
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy; transfer to paper towels to drain and set aside.
- Season the scallops with the salt and pepper and increase the heat under the skillet to medium-high. Add the scallops to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the scallops to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat back down to medium, add the onion, and cook for about 5 minutes (until softened slightly). Add the potatoes, chicken broth, wine, and half and half and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover the pan and simmer for about 20 minutes (until the potatoes are fork tender).
- Return the scallops to the skillet, add the corn, and cook for 4 more minutes.
- Ladle the chowder into 4 serving bowls, sprinkle with the bacon (crumbled) and the parsley.
Alternative Method: Instant Pot
If you’re looking for a quicker and more convenient way to prepare the Creamy Scallop and Corn Chowder, utilizing an Instant Pot is a fantastic option. This method allows you to enjoy the rich flavors of the chowder in a fraction of the time. Here’s how to do it:
- 1 pound scallops
- 4 ears of corn, kernels removed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Set your Instant Pot to the Sauté function and add the butter and olive oil to the pot. Once melted, add the diced onion and minced garlic, and sauté until the onions become translucent and fragrant.
- Add the scallops and corn kernels to the pot, stirring them gently to combine with the onions and garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes to lightly sear the scallops.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken or vegetable broth, heavy cream, cornstarch, thyme, salt, and pepper until well combined. Pour the mixture over the scallops and corn in the Instant Pot.
- Secure the lid of the Instant Pot and ensure the pressure release valve is set to the sealed position. Select the Manual or Pressure Cook function and set the timer for 5 minutes on high pressure.
- Once the cooking time is complete, allow for a natural pressure release for about 5 minutes, and then carefully perform a quick pressure release to release any remaining pressure.
- Remove the lid and stir the chowder gently. The scallops should be tender, and the chowder should have thickened slightly.
- Ladle the Instant Pot Creamy Scallop and Corn Chowder into bowls, garnish with freshly chopped parsley, and serve hot.
With the Instant Pot method, you’ll achieve a creamy and flavorful chowder in a fraction of the time. The pressure cooking process helps infuse the flavors together while ensuring tender scallops and perfectly cooked corn. Enjoy this convenient and delicious alternative method of preparing the Creamy Scallop and Corn Chowder!
To ensure your Creamy Scallop and Corn Chowder turns out to be a culinary masterpiece, here are some valuable tips and tricks that will elevate your cooking game:
- Use a combination of butter and olive oil: Start by sautéing the aromatics, such as onions and garlic, in a mixture of butter and olive oil. This duo adds depth of flavor and enhances the overall richness of the chowder.
- Don’t overcook the scallops: Scallops are delicate and cook quickly. To achieve that perfect tender texture, sear them for just a few minutes on each side until they turn golden brown. Overcooking can lead to rubbery scallops, so keep a close eye on them.
- Incorporate the corn cobs: After removing the kernels, don’t discard the corn cobs just yet. Simmer them in the chowder to extract their natural sweetness and impart a robust flavor to the soup.
- Thicken with a cream and cornstarch mixture: For a velvety consistency, combine cream and cornstarch in a separate bowl and gradually stir it into the chowder. This method ensures a smooth and creamy base without any lumps.
- Season thoughtfully: Taste and adjust the seasoning as you go. Remember that scallops have a delicate flavor, so use spices like thyme, paprika, or a pinch of cayenne to enhance the overall taste without overpowering the dish.
The Best Ways To Serve And Enjoy Scallop and Corn Chowder
Now that your Creamy Scallop and Corn Chowder is ready to dazzle your palate, let’s explore some delightful serving suggestions to elevate the dining experience:
Recommend sides, garnishes, or beverages that complement the flavors:
- Serve the chowder with freshly baked crusty bread or garlic breadsticks for a satisfying and comforting meal.
- Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs like parsley or chives on top of each serving to add a burst of freshness and visual appeal.
- Pair the chowder with a crisp green salad, lightly dressed with a tangy vinaigrette, to balance the richness of the dish.
Suggest different ways to serve the dish:
- Transform the Scallop and Corn Chowder into an elegant appetizer by serving it in small, individual bread bowls, hollowed out and toasted.
- For a rustic presentation, ladle the chowder into a hollowed-out sourdough bread loaf, creating a unique and edible serving vessel.
- Impress your guests by garnishing each bowl with a seared scallop and a sprinkle of smoky paprika, adding a touch of sophistication to the presentation.
Can I make this chowder ahead of time?
Absolutely! In fact, the flavors of the chowder tend to develop and intensify when allowed to sit for a while. Prepare the chowder in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stovetop before serving.
How long can I store the leftovers?
You can store any leftover Scallop and Corn Chowder in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure to transfer it to airtight containers or sealable bags to maintain its freshness. Reheat gently on the stovetop, adding a splash of water or broth to thin it out if needed.
Can I use frozen scallops for this recipe?
While fresh scallops are ideal, frozen scallops can be used as well. Thaw them thoroughly before cooking by placing them in the refrigerator overnight. Pat them dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture before searing.
Can I substitute the cream with a lighter alternative?
If you prefer a lighter version of the chowder, you can use half-and-half or whole milk instead of cream. However, keep in mind that the texture and richness may vary slightly.
Can I freeze the chowder?
It is not recommended to freeze the Scallop and Corn Chowder, as the texture of the scallops and the creamy base may change upon thawing and reheating. It is best enjoyed fresh or stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
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