Scallops with Bacon
by Charlie Burke
Printer-friendly version

There is no doubt that the salty smoky taste of bacon matches well with scallops,
but it is nearly impossible to properly cook them both when the bacon is
wrapped around the scallops. Usually, they are cooked until the bacon is done,
resulting in rubbery over-cooked scallops.

I like to use pancetta or locally smoked bacon to add flavor to sautéed dishes, so
when I came across some really fresh large sea scallops the other day, the bacon
– scallop combination seemed like a quick fix for a flavorful dinner. A beurre
blanc reduction adds some acidity to finish the dish. This preparation would
work with boneless chicken breasts (pounded thin and cut into strips) or even
monkfish sliced into rounds ¼ inch thick.

Scallops are very perishable, and if they are even slightly off I detect a bitter
background taste. Be sure to ask if the scallops are perfectly fresh; they should
have no fishy or strong odor. Buy dry pack scallops which should have no milky
liquid and should feel slightly sticky; scallops in liquid have had a solution
added to prolong shelf life (and which adds weight). When added to a hot sauté
pan, the treated scallops exude a significant volume of solution which makes it
impossible to brown them; I would not attempt this recipe with them. Serve
these scallops with dark greens, such as Swiss chard or spinach or spring
dandelions and your choice of starch.

For four:

1 ½ pound dry pack large sea scallops
4 strips smoked bacon, preferably thick slices from a local smokehouse
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 cup dry white wine
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Slice bacon strips lengthwise into ½ inch strips, then slice across to make ¼ x ½
inch squares. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and cook bacon until
golden brown and slightly crispy. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
Pour off bacon fat, add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and turn heat to high.

Salt and pepper both sides of scallops, using less salt than usual because of the
bacon. Place scallops in a single layer so that they are not touching and cook
until nearly done and quite brown (3-4 minutes). Turn and finish cooking –
middle is just opaque and scallops have a bouncy resistance. Remove from pan
and set aside.

Add chopped shallots and cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Add
wine and scrape brown fond from pan. Boil until reduced by half, turn heat to
low and return scallops and bacon to pan. Swirl in the butter, sprinkle with
parsley if you have it and serve on warmed plates. We served the scallops with
pasta sauced with sautéed leeks and artichokes, but rice or a small pasta with
butter would go well.

This upscale take on an old standby is perfect for entertaining friends and can be
prepared while you share a glass of wine in the kitchen!

About the author - An organic farmer and avid cook, writer Charlie Burke is the
vice president of the New Hampshire Farmer’s Market Association (www.nhfma.
org) and helps run the Sanbornton Farmers' Market. Along with his wife, Joanne,
he grows certified organic herbs, greens and berries at Weather Hill Farm in
Sanbornton, NH.  His column & recipes appear weekly in The Heart of New
England's newsletter.
Scallops and Bacon.  Click here for more recipes...
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
The Heart of New England ... Click Here to Subscribe Today (It's FREE!)
Click here for your FREE
weekly newsletter!

Bring the heart of
New England into your
home with affordable,
New England prints.
Visit our
Art Gallery

Click here for
More Recipes!
Get 100+ New England
Recipes! $9.95  
Click here
©The Heart of New England online magazine
...celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont!
Contact| The Heart of New England HOME | Search

Click Here to Get Your FREE Weekly Newsletter Today!