My Sweet Corn Chowder with Scallops and Bacon is rich in the sweet/salty flavour profile we all love, and perfect for any time of year.
Followers of my Instagram account will be well aware that I was in Scotland recently, chowing my way around the Highlands. The country exceeded all of my expectations and I’ll be sharing some of the images from the trip next week, but for now I wanted to get this delicious recipe for Sweet Corn Chowder with Scallops and Bacon set in stone before I forget it.
While I love shellfish (despite it’s reputation for raising cholesterol), fish is generally something that I only eat because it is good for me, but that was all turned on it’s head in Scotland. The seafood there is outstanding – in it’s production, freshness and preparation – and I ate it pretty much every day. The scallops, in particular, were fabulous – subtle and sweet, with a hint of the sea – and bloody enormous.
I pined for them as soon as we got home, so wasted no time in getting to the local fish shop to grab some. When buying scallops try to look for the farmed variety, if at all possible, as dredging for them is incredibly destructive. (Check out Good Fish, Bad Fish for advice on sustainability and look here for information on Australian seafood labelling.) While ours don’t compare in size, they are are delicate and flavoursome and deserve special treatment.
I bought a swag of scallops with no idea just what I was going to do with them, but it didn’t take long for Sweet Corn Chowder with Scallops and Bacon to start singing a siren song in my head.
The sweet corn perfectly compliments the sweetness of the scallops, while the addition of bacon provides the salty/sweet contrast that I’m very fond of. Seasonal fresh corn will be in the stores here any day now, but frozen corn is of such high quality that it is a totally acceptable substitute. Even canned corn will work in this recipe. And this delicious dish works well for any season – it’s warming on a chilly winter’s night, but equally happy on a summer menu, as a prelude to a seafood spread.
I’m afraid my photo is slightly less than lovely, but rest assured, it tasted divine – and, like all my recipes, it’s dead simple so give it a go.
Sweet Corn Chowder with Scallops and Bacon
- 2 cups fresh frozen or canned corn kernels
- 2 potatoes diced
- 4 spring onions finely chopped
- 750 mls chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup white wine no rubbish - it's got to be something you actually want to drink
- 50 mls olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 16-20 fresh scallops or as many as you feel like, per diner
- Butter for frying
- 3 rashers of bacon finely chopped and fried until crisp
- In a large saucepan, heat olive oil, add onions and lightly sauté until soft, but not browned.
- Add potatoes, stock and bring to the boil, before reducing the heat and cooking until the potato is soft, adding the corn in the last 5 minutes.
- Season to taste, then puree until completely smooth with a stab mixer or cool, then whizz it in a food processor or blender.
- To prepare the scallops - heat butter in a frypan until foaming, then add the scallops, cooking quickly on both sides until just cooked through and slightly golden. Do not overcook or they will be rubbery.
- Add the wine and reheat the chowder before serving, divide into bowls, pop the warm scallops on top, then sprinkle with the bacon.