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Grilled Scallops with Tomato Jam over Cheese Polenta

Grilled Scallops with Tomato Jam over Cheese Polenta
Home » Recipes by Ingredients » Fish and Seafood » Grilled scallops over polenta

Scallops are way up there on my list of favorite foods, and they couldn’t be quicker or easier to cook.  This recipe for grilled scallops with heirloom tomato jam is served over cheese polenta or a corn puree for over-the-top delicious!

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Scallops and Heirloom Tomato Jam over Polenta
Scallops and Heirloom Tomato Jam over Polenta

Tips for Making Great Polenta

Although I have always loved eating polenta, I have never actually made it, thinking it was too fussy to deal with.  This polenta was as easy as could be however, and cooked up perfect in 30 minutes with a little stirring involved. 

If you want to cut the time, use a finely ground cornmeal, or grind you coarse meal in a food processor. Some people will make a slurry of cornmeal and water ahead of time to hasten the process.

The main thing is you don’t really want it to be “gritty”. It should be creamy with a bit of chew. That comes from stirring it in liquid enough to hydrate all of the kernels.

Ingredients needed for scallops with tomato jam over polenta
Ingredients needed for scallops with tomato jam over polenta

Water or Milk for Polenta?

Water is the classic Italian preference, mainly so that the corn flavor of the polenta is not masked by a heavier liquid. Some people prefer using milk, which gives you a really rich cornmeal mush that may not be desirable to many. I opted for mostly water with a tad bit of milk.

Either way the liquid should be a ratio of approximately 5:1, liquid to polenta.

An alternative to polenta which would be just as scrumptious would be a fresh sweet corn puree

Skewer of grilled scallops on a bed of polenta drizzled with tomato jam
Skewer of grilled scallops on a bed of polenta drizzled with tomato jam

The Tomato “Sauce”

Since we make and sell the heirloom tomato jam, I just used a jar of our jam off the shelf and heated it up for the sauce.  It was excellent and added a bit of sweetness that melded nicely with the savory cornmeal, the salty bacon and the mild-tasting scallops.

The Scallops

Scallops are one of the quickest, easiest, tastiest things to make in my mind. I placed 4 scallops on a skewer and placed them on a preheated indoor grill (Cuisinart griddler) just before the polenta was done. Scallops only need about 2 minutes to cook. Too long and they become rubbery.

Other Recipes Using Scallops

This low carb, fennel-crusted scallop dinner with creamed spinach is a definite winner. Yummmm.

Seared scallops on a bed of creamed spinach
Seared scallops on a bed of creamed spinach

Or try this low carb scallops with a grapefruit sauce…..very unique!

Low carb dinner of seared scallops in grapefruit butter sauce
Low carb dinner of seared scallops in grapefruit butter sauce

Grilled Scallops with Heirloom Tomato Jam over Polenta

Scallops and Heirloom Tomato Jam over Polenta
This recipe is an all-around winner. The jam adds a slight sweetness, the polenta adds texture and creamy substance and the scallops are done in minutes. Delicious for weeknight or an elegant dinner!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings 3
Calories 472
Author Dorothy Stainbrook

Equipment

  • 1 large Pot
  • whisk
  • griddler or indoor grill
  • Skewers
  • 1 small Pot

Ingredients

  • 4 Strips bacon optional; cooked ahead and crumbled
  • ¼ cup scallions optional; finely chopped
  • 12 Large sea scallops
  • 8 oz. jar tomato jam see end of post for a DIY tomato jam sauce
  • 4 ½ cups water
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup shredded cheese Sharp cheddar, parmesan or gouda all work well

Instructions
 

  • Fry bacon pieces in large skillet, if using (they are optional). Crumble and put aside. Mince scallions and set aside with bacon. Skewer the scallops (4 to a skewer) and dust with salt and any seasoning you prefer (ground fennel is my favorite). Set aside.
  • Start polenta: Bring water and milk to boil in large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Start polenta: bring water and milk to boil in lsarge saucepan over medium heat. Add salt. When water-milk mixture has come to boil, very gradually whisk in cornmeal. Cook, stirring often, until polenta is thick, about 30 minutes with coarse cornmeal and about 10 minutes with ginely ground cornmeal.
    Stir every 5-10 minutes until it is thickened to your desired consistency.
  • While polenta is thickening, heat 8 oz jar of tomato jam in a small saucepan over low heat until it is the consistency of sauce (alternatively make your own tomato jam sauce as detailed In the notes section of this recipe card).
    Turn on indoor griddler to get to temp.
  • When polenta is 5 minutes or so from your desired thickness, place scallops on griddler and grill for a couple of minutes (do not overcook).
    Stir polenta again and if thick enough for you, remove from burner and add shredded cheese.
  • To serve:  Place a serving of polenta on each plate and top with scallop skewer.  Drizzle tomato jam-sauce over scallops and polenta.
    Sprinkle with chopped scallions and chopped bacon bits if desired.

Video

Notes

To make Tomato Jam-Sauce:

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp minced scallions
  • 1 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to tasteThank 

Nutrition

Calories: 472kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 29gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 1612mgPotassium: 800mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 650IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 201mgIron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?If you tried this recipe, please give it a 5-star rating! To do this, just click on the stars above. And don’t forget to tag me at @dorothy_stainbrook_heathglen, if you share a picture on Instagram! You can also tag me at #heathglen!

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Recipe Rating




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Dustin

Friday 13th of August 2021

I may have to try this recipe!

dorothy stainbrook

Friday 13th of August 2021

Let me know how it turns out if you do!

Dorothy Stainbrook

Saturday 15th of September 2012

**Please note: In the first rendition of this recipe, I forgot the ingredient proportions for the polenta. It is fixed now, but I'm sorry if it frustrated anyone!

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