when i first moved to nyc it didn't take long for me to get a hankering for this recipe. i make it about two to three times a year, and when i get a craving for it, it just won't quit. i first started making this dinner in nashville, and while it's easily, hands down, the fattiest, unhealthiest, most horrible thing i have ever recommended you put in your body, i just can't help myself sometimes.
so, with craving in hand, i went to my local grocery store and searched high and low for grits, to no avail. i went up to an employee and asked him if they carried grits. he gave me a quizzical look and, without missing a beat, said,
"is that some kind of salsa?"
oh my friends. we were not in kansas anymore. nor the south.
needless to say, they didn't sell grits.
so a few weeks ago when i finally saw them on a shelf at my local trader joe's, i ran out of the check-out line towards them like a man who's been in the desert for days runs towards water.
finally. grits. and a recipe for scallops and grits.
this baby will knock your socks off, take years off your life and add a few inches to your waist. and it's worth every bite. like i said, i only make it a couple of times a year, and due to my lack of grits, i hadn't had this in almost three years. it was a special night indeed.
most of the ingredients for this recipe are pretty basic (although, with my struggle to find grits i suppose that depends on where you live). however, the cajun or creole seasoning may be one you don't already have in your kitchen. i use zatarain's creole seasoning. and i love it. but anything labelled cajun or creole seasoning will work just as well, i'm sure.
making the grits are fairly easy, although putting that much cream and butter in one pan may cause a preemptive heart attack. after waiting for the cream, water, and chicken stock to boil, add in the butter, a little salt and pepper, and slowly whisk in the grits. it will probably take about 20 minutes of cooking, on low heat, for the grits to absorb all of that yummy goodness.
in the meantime, dredge the scallops in the mixture of flour, paprika and creole seasoning, before a quick dip into some melted butter and then into a hot pan to cook in the olive oil. this is probably my favorite step. i mean, a quick dip in butter before cooking? with everything else in this recipe, it doesn't really matter at this point.
cook those suckers for about three minutes each side. easy as can be.
lastly, and this is important, when putting the scallops on that lovely bed of grits, be sure to spoon some of the sauce from the pan they were cooked in over the grits. it's that extra step that makes all the difference.
then? enjoy. except, for the sake of your arteries, only a couple of times a year, please.