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

Truffle Butter

¼ cup shallots, minced
2 tbsp garlic, minced
½ cup white wine
1 lb. butter, cubed and at room temperature
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp truffle oil

1. Gently sweat the garlic and shallot in a little canola or olive oil till translucent. Do not brown or caramelize.

2. Deglaze pan with the white wine and reduce till almost dry. Take wine mix and chill in the fridge till completely cold.

3. In a stand mixer (or by hand) whip together wine mix and all the remaining ingredients. Reserve 2 tbsp for the recipe. The remaining can be packaged and frozen till needed again.

For the tomatoes: Take a standard can of store-bought diced tomatoes and drain them well. Toss with a little EV olive oil and salt and pepper. Lay out on a parchment-lined sheet tray and dry out in a 400-degree oven till toasted. A little color is preferred. Stir frequently for even cooking.


1. In a HOT large nonstick sauté pan, place the seasoned scallops. Don't fidget, let them cook and get color.

2. When they're nicely caramelized on the first side, flip and begin doing the same to that side. Finished scallops should be mid-rare to medium. If they overcook, they will shrivel and be tough.

3. As soon as you flip the scallops, add the prosciutto and tomatoes and toast a bit. When it's all toasted nicely, deglaze with water to release fond developed in the pan. As it's reducing, add the green onions, parsley and truffle butter. You should end with an emulsified tomato sauce. If it breaks, try adding a little water (1 tbsp or so). You're looking for a rich ragu, not an oily mess.

4. To plate, divide the polenta onto four plates. Place two scallops onto the polenta. With just the ragu in the pan, taste it. Depending on the brand of prosciutto, the salt levels will be different. Adjust a bit to your liking, and then spoon on top of the scallops.

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.

Location Info


227 W. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, MO

Category: Restaurant


635 Washington Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

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