Seared Scallops and Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta

If you enjoyed the Goat Cheese Salad with candied pistachios half as much as I did, it would put a smile on my face. Don’t forget it can make a nice light summer dinner as well.

Next course, seared scallops mingle with a light citrus sauce and a creamy polenta gets jazzed up with fresh mild goat cheese. These scallops are happily dusted with a gorgeous Welsh Oak Smoked Sea Salt from Halen Môn. This is a salt you will start using and never ever want to stop. I swear, I’m about to order a 1/2 kilo.

Disclaimer: I’m so not getting any benefits from promoting this product. Halen Môn was however, a generous sponsor at the previously mentioned  (many times), Plate to Page workshop. And it is with pleasure, that I pass on my recommendation. 

Hell, I carried this salt at Chez Chloe (my kitchen/specialty food store) on Orcas Island for four years! I was more than happy getting it wholesale by the case!

{Print Recipe} for Seared Scallops, Citrus Sauce and Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta

Citrus Sauce:
1T minced shallot
1/4 cup white wine (I used riesling and it was lovely)
1/2 cup orange juice
6 T cold butter chopped in small cubes
1/4 tsp white balsamic vinegar
season to taste with salt and white pepper

The use of goat cheese in this manner, came the first time for me, when I had run out of parmesan and used it in my white sauce for pasta. And loved it.

Then it went into my gravy for traditional Southern biscuits and (non-traditional) gravy.

Why not with polenta? It gives it a pleasant, mildly tangy umph. I wonder if someone who is a little freaked by goat products (Resa are you reading this) would notice?

And if you are a goat product lover then it’s a no brainer.

Creamy Polenta:
Serves 2 with generous leftovers- 
1 cup polenta
4 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1 bouillon cube
4oz fresh goat cheese
1/2 tsp salt
2 T butter

Scallops are quickly seared before serving. I used 5 scallops per person (which was myself and O) and cooked them in two batches as they tend to water up which leaves you steaming scallops instead of searing. I heat about 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter on medium high for each batch and quickly cook the little mollusks on each side for only 1 and 1/2 – 2 minutes. You don’t want to be chewing little rubber disks draped in citrus butter.

Lastly,  may I suggest with the polenta leftovers, you try heating them up and serving with a fried egg, salmon lox and creme fraiche. You will like this if you like southern grits. I know Shelly… don’t judge me. I love grits. I love Flo from Alice…. all you youngsters (and folks who didn’t grow up in the USA in the 80’s) can google that!


34 responses

    • I’m ashamed to say, I had to thaw them as they didn’t fit into my schedule the day I bought them. One of those shopping frenzies when your stomach and enthusiasm make all the decisions. They were still great though and the the sauce was killer.


  1. Yes! I’m reading this. You nut. I’ve got more food issues than a box of Kleenex has tissues. (goat cheese…. shudder) The creativity of cooking and baking are inspiring to me, even if I have to adapt. I love the way you present your dishes. You rock food. Yummy on the polenta!


    • I love this salt. As I mentioned, I carried it in my store before. Along with it there was a line of salts from a company in Seattle that had applewood smoked salt, alder smoked salt and so on. I’ve actually thought about trying to smoke it myself. That would be a good one for Carol Ann over at RockSalt!


  2. Wonderful, Wendy … like polenta and I like goat’s cheese – scallops I can eat if being served, but nothing I will order myself – have cooked many times – very delicate product. Love your sauce – so I will have that over the weekend with salmon from the freezer. Halen Môn salt I always used when living over there – they have a full range of salts – very exciting company met a couple of time on food expo.


    • Thanks! I tell you the goat cheese adds just a little more dimension to the flavor I think… in many things that call for the ‘norm’ like parmesan. I loved it in my gravy for biscuits too.


  3. I am stunned at the beauty of these scallops and the flavors of this dish. Wow what an amazing cook you are! I must try this recipe. I love scallops and love the citrussy sauce. Beautiful, Wendy!


  4. Looks very yummy, Wendy. I love scallops and the polenta is wonderful. Great that you mentioned parmesan cheese because I’d rather have that than goat cheese. 😉


  5. Pingback: sun back saturday leftovers | mygulitypleasures

  6. Pingback: Coffee and Kahlua Pots de Creme « Chez Chloe

    • Hey Shelly… nice to see (hear) (read) you! That is a funny one. Just as funny is me realizing duh.. polenta basically is grits and I could be making these everyday with fried eggs. Though I need grits and a half stick of butter every morning like i need a hole in the head!


  7. Pingback: Polenta, Not Just for Filling Holes « The Great Dorset Vegetable Experiment

  8. Much to the evident dismay of some of your followers, I made your polenta recipe with Anson Mills stone ground grits. In a word, wonderful. I spread the leftovers on parchment and put them in the fridge to make grits cakes in the morning. Thanks for the recipe.


  9. Hello! Thanks for the recipe. I’m a 23 year old male trying to learn how to cook so I can impress my girlfriend. I’m making this for her tonight… wish me luck!


      • Huge success! First course was prosciutto wrapped breadsticks dipped in balsamic w/dirty martinis. Scallops cut by resting a knife on them, creamy polenta (added rosemary to compliment the goats cheese), simple asparagus on the side (salt pepper lemon olive oil – al dente).

        I used about half as much butter on the citrus glaze and after about 30 it settled nicely. Also, I put the scallops on and off like hours on a clock (Gordon Ramsay technique) which allowed me to cook them all evenly.



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