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Chef Craig Bell from Reclaimed demonstrated how to prepare brown butter seared scallops with Manchego cheese grits.

Reclaimed  |  Big Hatt Gourmet
3655 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL

Manchego Cheese Grits

5 cups water or chicken stock
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup coarse stone-ground grits
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup shredded aged Manchego

In four cups of water or chicken stock, soak the grits for 24 hours covered in your refrigerator. Before cooking, skim any floating debris or chafe from the top of your grits.

Bring 1 cup of cream, salt, and 2 tablespoon butter to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, then add grits gradually, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat and cook at a bare simmer, covered, stirring frequently, until water is absorbed and grits are thickened, about 15 minutes. Keep the grits at a loose consistency while they are cooking.

Stir in additional cream and water/stock and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally to keep grits from sticking to bottom of pan, 10 minutes.

Stir in 1 tablespoon butter and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and grits are thick and tender, about 35 minutes more. (Grits will have a soft, mashed-potato-like consistency.) Stir in pepper, Manchego cheese and remaining tablespoon butter.

Brown Butter Seared Scallops

12 dry packed U/10 scallops
1/2 cup sliced onions
1/2 cup sliced tomato skins
4 tablespoons butter
4 slices cooked bacon
kosher salt
black pepper

One day prior to cooking the scallops, place them between paper towels, covered and in refrigerator to ensure the outsides are nice and dry.

Season your scallops with salt and pepper on both sides.

In a cast iron pan at medium/high heat bring 1 tbsp. butter to its smoking point. The butter will turn brown and start to smoke barely.

Place your scallops in the pan without crowding the pan.  Leave a minimum of 1/2 inch between each scallop. Sear for approximately 4 minutes on each side or until a nice brown caramelization appears. Be careful to not let the butter burn — maintaining heat is crucial.

Remove the scallops from the pan and place on a paper towel. Turn heat up in pan add remaining butter and onions and tomatoes. Sauté until onions are opaque.

Place grits in a wide single serving bowl. In center of grits, add sautéed onions and tomatoes. Place scallops on top of onions and tomatoes. Garnish with bacon and sliced scallions.