Three guidelines: no soup, no salads, no raw fish.

Now show us a dish that represents you and the way you cook.

Send unedited video clips equalling no more than ten minutes… and GO!

We filmed multiple recipes that day, but this is the dish I ended up sending for my America’s Test Kitchen submission.

Primarily because it’s the only one that would fit within the allotted time without taking too much of the story away.

Brown Butter Seared Scallops with Pesto and a Roasted Corn and Potato Salsa

A play on the Seared Scallop and Corn Chowder we got from Roy’s the first time we visited the islands, and a dish I’ve recreated several times when looking to infuse a little aloha into our life.

With soup being a no-no, I took this dish in a slightly different direction by bringing the freshness of the veggies and the smokiness of the bacon in through the Roasted Corn and Potato Salsa – and man am I glad I did.

Sorry chowder, but never again. At least not during the warmer spring and summer months.

Looking to spoil yourself on a Monday? Dial up this easy, yet sophisticated recipe and call it #selfcare.

Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Click here to view the video!


  • scallops, colossal (per person)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups basil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated 
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 ears corn (approximately 3 cups)
  • 2 cups small red potatoes, halved and quartered
  • shallot, diced
  • red pepper, diced
  • jalapeno, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper


Step 1

Cut corn from the cob and dry roast corn in a saute pan over medium heat until the kernels begin to get some color on them. This should take about 5 minutes, and is really fun because you’ll see the corn pop up and out of the pan on occasion.

If things seem too dry, don’t hesitate to add a tiny splash of olive oil. 

Once nice and roasty, remove corn from pan and set aside to cool. 

Step 2

Add bacon to the pan and cook over medium heat until cooked through. This should take about 5 minutes.

Remove bacon and set aside on a paper-towel lined plate to cool.

Step 3

Season potatoes with a pinch of chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, and roast in the bacon fat over medium heat, placing cut sides down to get a nice crisp brown edge. This should take about 5 minutes.

Remove potatoes from pan once they’re fork tender and set aside to cool.

 Step 4

Now it’s time to make your pesto by pulsing basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and red pepper flake in a food processor until smooth.

Add cheese to the mix and additional olive oil if your pesto seems too thick.

Set your pesto aside to wait for its big moment.

Step 5

Now it’s time to make your salsa by combining cooled bacon, corn, potatoes, red pepper, jalapeno, shallot, 1/2 tsp of chili powder and 1/2 tsp of cumin. 

Give it a stir and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Set aside for its big moment.

Step 6

Remove the muscle flap from the side of your scallops and pat with paper towel to dry.

Season both sides of the scallop with salt, pepper and chili powder.

Melt butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat.

Sear scallop on the first side for 2 minutes until golden and browned.

Flip and sear the other side for 1 to 2 minutes, basting with browned butter.

Scallops are done cooking when all edges are opaque and they’re slightly firm to the touch but have a little bounce back (like jell-o). Try not to overcook your scallops or they’ll be tough and rubbery. 

Step 7

Serve scallops immediately over pesto and topped with salsa.