Robust's Pan-Seared Scallops with Ham in Tomato-Truffle Sauce: A Recipe from Joseph Hemp V

May 20, 2013 at 8:30 am

This is part three of Gut Check's Chef's Choice profile of Joseph Hemp V of Robust. Read part one, a profile of Hemp, here. Read part two, a Q & A with Hemp, here.

click to enlarge The scallops with ham atop creamy polenta at Robust | Corey Woodruff
The scallops with ham atop creamy polenta at Robust | Corey Woodruff

Joseph Hemp V, the chef of the popular wine bar and restaurant Robust (227 West Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-963-0033) and its new downtown outpost (635 Washington Avenue; 314-287-6300), has come a long way from helping his mother cook Sunday breakfast for the family. Yet all his years of cooking and watching others cook has paid off with an attention to detail evident on the plate and in the instructions he provides for this recipe.

When I reviewed the new downtown location of Robust earlier this year, one of my favorite dishes was the seared scallops with ham in a tomato-truffle sauce. Here Hemp tells you how it's done.

See Also: - Ian Froeb's RFT Review of Robust (2013) - Adrenaline Junkie Joseph Hemp V Finds a Home in the Kitchen - Being Happy While You Cook and Learning to Love Bourbon: A Q&A with Joseph Hemp V of Robust

Pan Seared Scallops with Diced Ham in Tomato-Truffle Sauce

makes 4 servings

8 jumbo sea scallops

¼ cup diced prosciutto ½ cup diced tomato, dried 2 tbsp green onions, minced 1 tbsp parsley, chopped ¼ cup Water

2 tbsp truffle butter (recipe follows)

3 cups creamy polenta (recipe follows)


2/3 cup cornmeal (the finer, the better) 1 1/3 cup cream 2 cups milk 2/3 cups grated Parmesan salt, to taste

1. Bring the milk and cream up to a boil. Stir in Cornmeal and reduce heat to a simmer. It may seem like too much liquid at first, but it's not. Stir constantly, it likes to burn.

2. Slowly cook the polenta until all the liquid is absorbed and it's thickened appropriately. When the meal is soft and thick, stir in the Parmesan. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt.