I’ve never cooked scallops before – though for much of my culinary “career” I was scallop adverse – having once ate them at approximately the same time I developed the flu. This is a very bad combination and one that will scar you for life. Flash forward to two years ago and I decided to give scallops a go again (in fact, on the evening that James proposed!). And then Puritan & Company opened, and I had more scallops. And more and more and more. Cured.
Which brings me back to never cooking scallops before. I needed some help, and turned to Alton Brown for advice and support. Plus, any recipe with 150+ five star reviews (and nothing but!) is a sure thing.
I had to make this my own though (of course!) and use up some ingredients in the fridge (like bacon and sage). It was easy, delicious and considerably more affordable than anything I would get at a restaurant.
Here’s what you need:
- 1 pound of fresh sea scallops, side muscle removed, rinsed and patted dry
- 4 strips of bacon, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter (divided in half) — alternatively use olive oil for a dairy free version
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- 1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 – 2″ pieces
- Spaghetti squash, pasta or risotto (whatever you choose as a vehicle to serve – or nothing at all if you want to sit and eat a pound of scallops by yourself)
- Salt and pepper to taste
This is a recipe that I recommend preparing all of your ingredients (as described above) in advance so that you can move quickly.
In a large frying pan on high heat, add 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add your trimmed and chopped asparagus. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Rinse the scallops, remove the side muscle and pat dry. Lightly salt and pepper.
Heat a large pan on high, add 1 tbsp of butter and melt. Once melted, add the chopped bacon and lower heat to medium. Cook until crispy (about 3 – 4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove bacon and let cool on a paper towel. Leave bacon fat in the pan.
With the pan still on medium heat, add chopped sage to the bacon fat and cook for 1 minute. Stir occasionally. Add scallops. Ensure that the scallops do not touch. Cook for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, then using a pair of tongs, flip over. Your scallops should have a nice crust/browning on the side that was heat down. Cook the scallops for another 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Serve scallops on top of spaghetti squash, pasta, risotto, etc. with asparagus. Spoon over some of the fat and sage in the pan. Sprinkle with cooked bacon bits.