In any case, it’s really not that hard to find lobsters elsewhere. Just ½ block from my local Whole Foods is Alive and Kicking. This little seafood market is set so far set back from the street that you could drive past it without even knowing it existed. And that’s just what I did… until just a few weeks ago.
Inside the market are a half dozen lobster tanks and a small display of fresh fish. The selection is small, but everything is impeccably fresh. I went there last week in search of lobsters for my new favorite dish, and walked out with a pound of scallops.
With left-over frost bitten greens and corn kernels from two summers ago (yes, it was time to clean out the freezer), I made a variation of corn and crab soup from The Chinese Kitchen by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo. The clean, light broth let the sweetness of the scallop shine. And the greens added brightness to the whole dish. It was the perfect first course before the richer Cantonese Lobster.
Corn and Greens Soup with Seared Scallops
1 pound corn kernels
5 cups chicken stock
1 tbs. freshly grated ginger
1/8 tsp. white pepper
½ tsp. salt
5 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/3 cup sliced scallions
½ pound braising greens (such as kale, collards, mustard, or a combination)
1 pound sea scallops
1 tbs. plain oil (canola or peanut)
- In a large pot, combine corn, chicken stock and ginger. Let simmer for 5 minutes or until corn is tender. Using a slotted spoon, strain out some of the corn (approximately half) and puree in a blender with one cup of the broth. Return pureed corn to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Wash the greens and slice them thinly. Add to the soup pot and cook for 3-5 minutes, just until they wilt. Remove pot from heat and set aside while you cook the scallops. (Alternatively, you can poach the scallops directly in the broth over medium heat for 5 minutes. If you do this, skip the next step).
- Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Add scallops to the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Bring the soup back to a simmer, turn off heat and fold in egg whites. Serve immediately, garnishing with scallops and scallions.