Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

My MIL picked up some super-huge scallops from Costco the other day, and I just knew I had to wrap them in bacon. I decided I wanted to plate them on top of crispy potatoes, with some sauteed greens on the side. I also knew I needed some kind of sauce.

The wheels inside my head were turning - russet or red potatoes? Lemon cream sauce? Should I use wine? How should I cook the potatoes? Should I grill or boil the scallops? With the help of some friends, I settled on red potatoes, parboiled then broiled, and a tart mustardy sauce using Trader Joe's Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce. And some blanched and sauteed broccoli rabe on the side.

I am so completely happy with this dinner - I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and it turned out to be one of the better things I've ever made.

So without further adieu, here's what I did. And please note that all measurements are approximate, because I can't measure to save my life (which is why I'm no longer a chemist).

Bacon Wrapped Scallops on Crispy Potatoes with Sauteed Broccoli Rabe

10 large scallops
10 thin slices bacon
2 red potatoes
1 bunch broccoli rabe
minced garlic
olive oil
salt & pepper & hot pepper flakes
white wine vinegar
chicken broth
aioli garlic mustard sauce (you could probably use equal parts mustard and cream to substitute)

Pat the scallops dry, and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Cut the potatoes into slices a little more than 1/4" thick, parboil them for about 5 minutes, then drain on paper towels. Blanch the bacon for 30 seconds, and drain. Separate the leaves from the broccoli rabe, blanch for 5 minutes in salted water, stop the cooking under cold water, then drain.

Stretch out the bacon and season with pepper. Starting at the narrow end, wrap a slice of bacon around a scallop, pulling the bacon tight. Secure with a toothpick if necessary. Toss the potato slices (gently!) with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the bacon-wrapped scallops and the potato slices onto a heavy baking sheet, and broil 6 inches from the flame, about 6-7 minutes per side. The bacon should get crispy, and the potatoes should start browning.

While the broiler is broiling, heat some olive oil in a skillet, add some garlic, and saute for a minute. Add in the broccoli rabe, some salt and red pepper flakes, and some white wine vinegar if you wish. Saute until cooked to your liking.

For the sauce, heat about 2 teaspoons olive oil with 2 teaspoons butter, add in some minced garlic, and let cook for a minute. Pour in some chicken broth, about 1/3 cup, a splash of white wine vinegar, salt & pepper, and about 2 teaspoons aioli garlic mustard sauce. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat and let simmer a bit, until it thickens. Right before serving, swirl in some more butter, because butter is good.

To plate, place a scallop on top of a potato, top with sauce, and serve the broccoli rabe on the side (the sauce goes good on the greens too).


melissa said...

The fact that you "had absolutely no idea" what you were doing (but not!) is what made it so awesome. Way to go. The plating looks great. I have never done bacon wrapped scallops, isn't that nuts? But hub passed by when I was reading this peered over and basically said "um, yes please."

I'll have to check out that sauce at TJs.

Vicki said...

Thanks, Melissa! OK, absolutely no idea isn't true, I've read a ton, but had never attempted actual execution. Turns out it was easier than I thought! And that sauce is awesome on sandwiches, in scrambled eggs, etc.

Betts said...

Lovely presentation. The scallops sort of look like eyes. I'm definitely going to try this.

Bob said...

Wow, for someone who didn't know what they were doing (or so you claim ;) ) that looks amazing!

Vicki said...

Hey Bett - I saw the eyes too, and thought about plating a 3rd scallop :)

Hi Bob - Thanks!

kellypea said...

Some of the best meals can come together like this! Glad yours worked out. It sounds delicious!

Darius T. Williams said...

Wow - well, let me tel lyou - it looks amazing to me.

Vicki said...

Hi Kelly - The culinary gods were smiling on me with this one :)

Hi Darius - Thanks!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Well, *I* want your scallops. Very much so. :)

Vicki said...

Hey WC - Screw 'em if they don't know what's good :)