These Seared Scallops with Warm Bacon Dressing are a riff off the classic scallops wrapped in bacon.
Is there anything that bacon doesn't make better??
The scallops and the sauce are light enough that they offset the decadence of the bacon- and it is just a wee bit per serving. It weighs in at 227 calories and 11 grams of fat.
I don't recommend switching out the whipping cream for a lighter cream because you are going to simmer the sauce to reduce it to a gravy consistency. Lighter cream will separate - it won't be pretty and you won't get the consistency you want.
This makes a great dish for entertaining. Scallops can be expensive though so you are going to want to invite really good friends!
I can tell you this would be in my regular rotation if scallops were more reasonably priced!
The large sea scallops are the preferred but in full disclosure - I couldn't find any at the store I was in so I made this with ones I had in my fridge.. bigger than bay scallops but smaller than sea scallops. Sea scallops will sear better because they are bigger and can stay in the pan longer before they overcook. In the end though the taste is pretty much the same. Mine was delicious as is! (You should have heard the moans and groans around the table as we were tasting!)
It makes 6 main servings but you could also serve this over tender crisp green beans as an appetizer. You should get at least 8-10 appetizer portions out of it. In this scenario you could also switch out the green beans for fresh baby spinach.
I serve the green beans and scallops with the sauce over white rice. I can highly recommend that if you want make it a heartier main.
Seared Scallops With Warm Bacon Dressing
- non-stick skillet
- 3 slices bacon
- 2 lbs scallops preferably sea scallop or the largest you can find
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- ¾ cup white wine vinegar
- ¾ cup water
- 2 ¼ tsps Dijon mustard
- 6 Tbsps whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 12 oz French green beans trimmed, optional
- Pat scallops dry with a paper towel. Press gently to release more moisture. You want the scallops to be as dry as possible or they won't sear.
- Cook the bacon in a non-stick skillet (cast iron is perfect) over medium heat until crisp.
- Transfer bacon strips to a paper towel to drain. Leave the drippings in the skillet.
- Add scallops in a single layer to the hot pan with bacon drippings. They should sizzle when you add them. Leave them undisturbed to cook about 2 minutes then flip and repeat. They should have a a golden sear on them. Do not overcook though. Remove scallop to a separate bowl. (Work in batches if necessary to cook in a single layer.)
- Whisk vinegar, water and mustard into the drippings in the skillet. Boil over high heat until reduced to half. Be sure to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. This took about 20 minutes for me but time will vary depending on size of skillet. Stir in whipping cream and continue to boil until sauce is the consistency of gravy.
- While sauce is reducing and close to being finished, cook beans, covered in the microwave with a couple of tablespoons of water. For me it takes about 6 minutes on high. Check doneness - they should be tender crisp. While beans are cooking return scallops to the sauce in the skillet and allow them to heat through.
- Chop bacon strips into bits and toss with the hot green beans. Top with scallops and drizzle with the hot sauce
Wine Pairing for Seared Scallops with Warm Bacon Dressing
The flavours here are warmer and deeper than you might think, thanks to the sauce. An unoaked Chardonnay, a Viognier or a Chenin Blanc would work. Any medium bodied white with good acidity would be fine. I am also partial to Muscadet Sèvre et Maine with a dish like this.
For die hard red drinkers you would want something unoaked, light bodied like a Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Gamay.
A Rosé on the weightier end of the Rosé scale with good acidity would be nice here. Look for a Tavel, or perhaps a Grenache based from Languedoc.