Sea Scallops with Bacon Butter Sauce
Sea Scallops with Bacon Butter Sauce

When I was younger, my mother went through a period when she would serve sea scallops wrapped with bacon at every party. Like most children, I wanted nothing to do with the scallops and wound up picking the bacon off the tray of appetizers until there was nothing left on the toothpicks except the naked shellfish. My mother was not too pleased with me for doing that, but could she blame me? I know very few people who can resist the temptation of bacon. It wasn't until I was older that I began to fully appreciate the pairing of sea scallops with bacon. Sadly, my love for scallops and bacon intensified right around the time my mother stopped throwing parties.

Feeling a bit nostalgic, I wanted to come up with a sea scallop recipe that used bacon but didn't involve wrapping or toothpicks. Then I remembered the scallops I made for the Valentine's Day dinner I shared with my boyfriend this past February - the scallops were seared and served over wilted greens and drizzled with my Fiery Pomegranate Sauce. As amazing as that meal was, I couldn't help but think at the time that the scallops still needed bacon to make the meal more complete. (Is there a Bacon Anonymous program out there? If so, I should probably join it.)

The recipe that developed out of this trip down memory lane not only uses bacon but also bacon grease! Before you all get in my face about the unhealthy qualities of bacon grease, I want to assure you that I only used a little bit it for flavoring. Besides, you should probably wait to use the word "unhealthy" until you read that this sea scallop recipe also uses butter! (Paula Deen would be so proud!)

Bacon, bacon grease, and butter -- the potential makings of an artery-clogging experience. This scallop recipe is definitely decadent... and rich... and probably belongs on the menu of a moderately-priced restaurant, but bookmark it and make it for a special occasion. Every now and then, something as delicious as this is okay!

What types of foods always showed up at your parents' parties?
Sea Scallops with Bacon Butter Sauce

Sea Scallops with Bacon Butter Sauce - Serves 2

Printable Recipe

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease, reserved
  • 1/2 pound large sea scallops, tough muscles removed
  • Large bunch fresh spinach, washed thoroughly and trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. Place bacon slices in a microwave-safe dish and cover a paper towel. Cook for 4 minutes, or until the bacon has reached your preferred state of crispiness.

  2. Remove cooked bacon from the dish and allow to drain on plate lined with a fresh paper towel. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease. When cool enough to handle, crumble or chop the bacon slices into small pieces.

  3. In a large skillet, heat bacon grease and extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat.

  4. Season the scallops with salt and pepper, then carefully add them to the hot grease. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn the scallops over and cook 2-3 minutes more, until the scallops are golden brown. Remove the scallops to a plate and keep warm.

  5. To the same skillet, add the fresh spinach and cook until it has wilted. Add the butter. When the butter has melted, taste the sauce and the spinach to see if more seasoning is needed.

  6. Add the scallops back to the pan and cook for about 30 seconds to reheat the shellfish.

  7. To serve, divide the wilted spinach between two plates. Divide the scallops and arrange on top of the spinach. Spoon some of the Bacon Butter Sauce on top of the scallops and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

Scallop on Foodista

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