seared scallops and brussels sprouts with bacon

Our suburban neighborhood is blessed to have a bakery and a fish market within its midst. I try to stay out of the bakery, mostly because the pastries are just too good to resist. The fish market, on the other hand, is a treasure trove of enticing fish and shellfish. We are only about an hour away from the Gulf coast – and some of the best fishing locations in the state – so the market has a regular supply of great fresh seafood.

scallops & brussels sprouts

As I’ve mentioned before here, I’m on a mission to learn to cook things I’ve never cooked before. I’ve never cooked scallops, but I love them, and they draw my eye when I see them in the enclosed glass case in the front of the fish market. I’ve been intimidated by scallops, but this weekend I decided it was time to get over that hurdle. So, while I took my daughter shopping for spring clothes, I sent my husband on an errand to buy scallops.

brussels sprouts, blanched

I found a recipe in Gourmet Today that I thought I’d give a try. After all, the scallops were served over Brussels sprouts with bacon. I mean, what sounds better than that?

brussels sprouts with bacon

The Brussels sprouts were fantastic, as expected. They were tender, with no trace of the bitterness that turns many people off, and the crispy bacon bits added a nice salty, smoky flavor. Searing the scallops was a bit of a challenge for me. I blame my husband for this, for no good reason except that he purchased the scallops and he was standing nearby. However, I managed to accomplish my task. And, although it was not pretty, the sweet scallops were delicious and a great compliment to the Brussels with bacon. And I forgave my husband and all was right with the world.

scallops & brussels sprouts

And before I forget, let’s talk about the wine. No meal is complete without the wine, you know. We paired the scallops and Brussels with this yummy 2005 Chalone Estate Chardonnay, and it was a great combination.

Chalone Estate Grown 2005 Chardonnay

Seared Scallops with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Ingredients:

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
Kosher salt
4 bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch-wide pieces
1 1/3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Fresh ground black pepper
1 pound sea scallops
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees (for warming the Brussels sprouts when done).

Blanch Brussels sprouts in boiling salted water for 2 minutes; drain and set aside.

Cook bacon over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until crisp. Transfer bacon with slotted spoon to paper-towel-lined bowl and reserve rendered bacon fat in another small bowl.

Add 1/3 cup chicken stock and 1/4 cup water to skillet, bring to simmer, and scrape up any brown bits. Add sugar, butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and Brussels sprouts to pan; simmer uncovered for 4 minutes. Remove lid and cook over moderately high heat for another 8-12 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and sprouts are tender (to your liking). Stir in bacon, transfer to a platter, and keep warm (covered) in oven.

Wipe skillet clean. Pat scallops dry and season them with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon peper. Heat oil with 2 teaspoons of the reserved bacon fat in the skillet over moderately high heat until the oil/fat begins to smoke. Add scallops and sear, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, 4-6 minutes. Transfer to another platter and cover loosely with foil.

Pour off any remaining fat from skillet. Add remaining 1 cup chicken stock, bring to simmer, and scrape up any brown bits. Simmer for one minute. Stir cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water in a cup, then add to sauce (along with any juices accumulated in scallop platter), and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve scallops over the Brussels and top with sauce.

Slightly adapted from Gourmet Today, and here.

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19 Responses to “seared scallops and brussels sprouts with bacon”

  1. Macaroni Mama — March 16, 2010 @ 5:33 am

    Yum!

  2. tina — March 16, 2010 @ 6:07 am

    I love brussels sprouts this way. I have never tried them with scallops though. Sounds and looks scrumptious!

  3. Erica — March 16, 2010 @ 3:03 pm

    Good for you! Scallops are so delicate and delicious, but I’ve never attempted to cook them. Was the Chardonnay you chose oakey?

    • merrygourmet replied: — March 16th, 2010 @ 8:01 pm

      Erica – the wine wasn’t very oaky at all. More acidic, actually. I definitely need to practice the scallop technique, but they’re so good that I know I will again soon. 🙂

  4. Liren — March 17, 2010 @ 9:45 am

    This is a beautiful dish! I adore brussels sprouts 🙂 Congrats on making Top 9 today!

    BTW, I have given you an award – I absolutely love what you are doing in your kitchen. You can see it here: http://kitchen-worthy.com/walking-on-sunshine

    Have a wonderful day!

  5. Sara — March 17, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

    Wonderful recipe! Congrats on making the Top 9 today! 🙂

    • merrygourmet replied: — March 17th, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

      Thanks so much, Sara!

  6. SippitySup — March 17, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

    Beautiful caramelization on those scallops. I am happy to make your acquaintance! GREG

    • merrygourmet replied: — March 17th, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

      Thanks, Greg! Nice to meet you as well. I’m now following you on twitter. 🙂

  7. Mauna — March 17, 2010 @ 11:17 pm

    Wait – Gainesville has a suburb?

    • merrygourmet replied: — March 18th, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

      Crazy, right? I like to think of it that way – give it a little promotion. 🙂

  8. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — March 18, 2010 @ 5:15 am

    This looks like a beautiful dish – I have recently learned to like Brussels Sprouts and the addition of bacon really helps, I find 😉

    • merrygourmet replied: — March 18th, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

      The addition of bacon makes lots of things better!

  9. MaryMoh — March 18, 2010 @ 7:11 am

    yeah…all my favourite in a dish…delicious!

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  11. Rustic Garden Bistro — March 25, 2010 @ 10:13 am

    We drink a lot of Chalone… and the scallops look great! [K]

  12. Pingback: Seared Scallops and Brussel Sprouts with Bacon « What I Feed My Husband

  13. Kristen Hess — June 7, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

    These look delicious! I have a great recipe for Brussel Sprouts, Bacon, Balsamic and Shallots I make for Thanksgiving every year which I love! You can get the recipe here: http://theartfulgourmet.com/2010/11/22/thanksgiving-side-dishes/

    🙂 Kristen

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