Corn Crusted Scallops with Tomato Jam & Truffled Crema 1

Famed Sedona Chef Publishes New Cookbook

True foodies have surely heard of Elote Café. The Sedona restaurant, owned by renowned chef Jeff Smedstad, is known for its forward-thinking Mexican cuisine. And now, the secrets of his kitchen are available for purchase. Smedstad will release his newest cookbook, Elote Café Notebook, this month. It’s a collection of his favorite recipes inspired by his travels across Mexico and the American Southwest. Below is a sample recipe.

Corn Crusted Scallops with Tomato Jam & Truffled Crema

For the tomato jam

3 pounds tomatoes

2 cups sugar

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground canela

½ teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons salt

3 chopped jalapeños

2 poblanos

½ cup chopped onion

For the truffled crema

1 cup sour cream

4 tablespoons truffle oil

2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

½ teaspoon oregano

1/3 teaspoon salt + dash pepper

For the scallops

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup buttermilk

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon Cholula

½ teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano

12 large fresh scallops

½ cup Maseca

½ cup ground super sweet dried corn

1 cup crushed corn chips

½ cup cornflake crumbs

½ cup cornstarch

rice or corn oil for frying


Combine all the ingredients for the tomato jam and simmer gently for two hours.

Mix all the ingredients for truffled crema until they are well blended and refrigerate until needed.

Blend the eggs, buttermilk, salt, pepper, ground cumin, Cholula, sugar and oregano to create a seasoned egg wash and pour it over the scallops. Allow to sit for 2 hours. Meanwhile, combine the Maseca, ground dried corn, chips and cornstarch and mix well. Spread this on a large plate.

Drain the scallops but leave them somewhat moist. Press them into the corn crust mix, covering on all sides. Refrigerate till you are ready to cook them.

Add two to three inches of oil to a deep skillet and heat to 350˚. Use a deep-fry thermometer to check. Add the scallops to the skillet carefully with a slotted spoon and fry for about 1.5 minutes per side, 3 minutes total.

Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve the scallops immediately.

Put about two tablespoons of tomato jam on each plate and top with three scallops. Add a tablespoon of truffled crema and garnish as desired.