A Bacon-Wrapped Scallop with a Bloody Mary Kick
If you’re cooking for your special somebody this valentine’s day, here’s something in romantic red that will make them come running but won’t weigh them down. I’m not one to use bacon much (as it’s not known for its health benefits), but there’s no denying that there’s something special about the smoky flavor and the alluring scent when its cooking. Par-cooking the bacon in the microwave between paper towels ensures its fat is rendered evenly and that much of it ends up absorbed by the paper. Here, I’ve paired it with sumptuous scallops, which — in addition to their delectable taste — offer a variety of nutrients that can promote cardiovascular health plus provide protection against colon cancer. They’re also a good source of B12, magnesium and potassium. Meanwhile, the Bloody Mary sauce features vitamin-rich tomatoes, garlic and horseradish with a bit of a vodka kick that you can take or leave, depending on your lover’s taste.
Ingredients for the Sauce
- 1 bunch of fresh basil
- 5 pounds of Roma tomatoes or vine ripe tomatoes
- 5 teaspoons prepared horseradish (not creamed)
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 celery stick
- 3/4 cup vodka
- 3 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 small slice of red beet for color,
- sea salt and fresh black pepper
Ingredients for the Scallops
- 8 slices bacon
- 8 large sea scallops
- Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Lemon
- Prepare the bacon. Layer uncooked bacon on a plate with paper towels lining the plate and in between the layers of bacon. Cook in the microwave one minute to “pre cook” the bacon and remove some of the fat. Your bacon will be slightly cooked but not crunchy, and should wrap easily.
- Wrap the scallops, secure with tooth pick and cut off extra bacon. Chop up all the leftover pieces of bacon and set aside.
- In a large skillet. heat one tablespoon olive oil and one tablespoon butter.
- Place bacon-wrapped scallops in a hot pan and sear two to three minutes on each side, being careful to not overcrowd the pan.
Preparation for the Bloody Mary Sauce
- Pick several smaller leaves from the basil and set them aside. Crush the remaining basil, stems and all, into a large bowl. Halve or quarter the tomatoes and add to the basil — along with the horseradish, celery, garlic, vinegar, vodka, beet and sea salt/ground black pepper. Let marinate for at least six hours or overnight.
- Preferably with a stick blender, puree the marinated vegetables (though a regular blender or a food processor will also do). Taste and add more seasoning as necessary.
- Pass this mixture through a course strainer or cheesecloth until smooth. Do not let it touch the garnish until just before serving or the garnish will wilt.
In a shallow bowl, place one scallop on a couple of frisée leaves and gently pour the Bloody Mary sauce around at the bottom of the scallop — preferably until it reaches about one quarter of the way up the scallop. Add a couple of celery leaves and give a squirt of fresh-squeezed lemon. Makes eight appetizer-sized portions. Garnish with Frisée lettuce and Celery leaves.
Last modified: January 29, 2018