Hell's Kitchen's Chef Ja'Nel Witt Shares Her Top 5 Holiday Recipes

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  • Chef Ja'Nel Witt
  • Spice Rubbed Scallops with Chickpea, Blistered Tomato and Corn Succotash, Warm Garbanzo Puree Finished with Herb Oil
  • White Chocolate–Chai Pots de Crème’
  • Poached Pear and Fresh Blueberry Tart with Port Wine Caramel and Almond Cream
  • Grilled Mahi Mahi with Citrus Argentine Chimichurri and Charred Sweet Potatoes
  • Anise-Infused Lamb Shank with Tricolor Israeli Couscous, Dried Cranberries and Apples

Spice Rubbed Scallops with Chickpea, Blistered Tomato and Corn Succotash, Warm Garbanzo Puree Finished With Herb Oil

Sea scallops are seasoned with a spicy garam masala blend and then seared to perfection.

Ingredients for the scallops:

4 tsp ground black peppercorn
2 tsp ground cloves
4 tbs ground cumin
3 tbs ground cardamom
2 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tsp ground cinnamon
10 sea scallops

-Combine spices, and mix until blended completely.
-Heat 2 oz olive oil in stainless steel or non-stick sauté pan over med-high heat.
-Pat scallops dry with paper towel. Season each side with salt and lightly with spice mixture.
-Sear each scallop 3-4 mins on each side, transfer to hot oven for additional 5 mins.
-Remove and allow to rest for 2 mins.

For the succotash:
16 oz cooked garbanzo beans (if using canned, drain well)
8 oz fresh corn
4 oz grape tomatoes, halved
1 serrano chili, finely minced
1 oz garlic, finely minced
1 oz ginger, finely minced
2 oz red onion, diced
1/2 oz mint, chopped
1/2 oz cilantro, chopped
4 oz stock (chicken or veggie)
4 oz heavy cream
1 tsp garam masala
Salt and pepper to taste

-Heat 1 oz olive oil in large saute pan, over med-high heat.
-Add tomatoes skin side down, and cook 2-3 mins until skin blisters.
-Add red onion, cook 2-3 mins. Add garlic, ginger and serrano chili, cook additional 2 mins.
-Add corn and garbanzo beans and garam masala, saute 5-7 minutes.
-Deglaze pan with chicken stock, reduce by half.
-Add heavy cream, and reduce until cream has thickened and succotash comes together.
-Add fresh herbs, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Ingredients for the garbanzo puree:
8 oz garbanzo beans, drained and liquid reserved
2 oz olive oil
1 oz lime juice
2 tbs garam masala blend
Salt to taste

-Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and puree until smooth.
-Add reserved liquid until you reach desired consistency (puree should be slightly looser than peanut butter).
-Return mixture to sauce pan and gently heat through.
-Adjust seasoning, keep warm.

(Photo: Courtesy of Chef Ja'Nel Witt)

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