Monday, January 4, 2010
Yes, it's back to the daily grind, new diets (for some), and a long cold winter...but it doesn't have to be all bad! Plan a last minute beach getaway. Eat a calorie laden plate of spaghetti carbonara. Try a cocktail you've never had before. Smoke a cigarette. No, don't smoke a cigarette! I'm just checking to see if you're paying attention. Don't ever smoke cigarettes!
Because of the recent month-long holiday excess, I'm not quite ready for austerity. Soup and salad isn't going to cut it. Somehow scallops seem fancy even though they are extremely easy to prepare and don't actually cost that much. And for the calorie/health conscious, they are about 75 calories per 3 ounce serving, and are chock full of vitamin b12, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium. However, if you are really health conscious, you might want to skip this particular preparation. Bake or broil them instead.
Bacon and scallops are a classic combination. I'm sure you've encountered a bacon wrapped scallop at least once in your life. Maybe a bacon wrapped water chestnut? (What's that about?) Anyway, this recipe eliminates all of the handiwork required of wrapping, and simply has you cook the scallops in the rendered bacon fat. (See what I mean about being health conscious?) Oh, and here's a personal note about making the sauce. I never seem to have white wine in my apartment during the winter. For some reason I do have tons of sparkling wine, so I added Champagne (it was just New Year's!) in place of the white wine...and drank the rest. Cheers!
Seared Scallops With Bacon
(Adapted from Martha Stewart Living)
3 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 pound large sea scallops (about 6)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced shallot (about 1 small shallot)
1/2 cup white wine or champagne or chicken stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Sauteed spinach, if desired
1. Heat a large saute pan over medium-low heat, and add the bacon. Cook slowly, stirring frequently, until brown and crisp, about 8 minutes.
2. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Drain the excess bacon fat, leaving a thin coat on bottom of pan, about 1 tablespoon.
3. Increase the heat to medium, sprinkle the scallops on both sides with salt and pepper, and add them to the pan. Cook until golden brown and opaque, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the scallops to a serving dish.
4. Add the shallots to the pan. When the shallots are translucent, about 1 minute, add the wine (or stock). Scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Pour over the scallops and top with the reserved bacon. Serve over sauteed spinach if desired. Serves 2.