When I saw some gigantic U-10 scallops at Whole Foods last weekend, I knew they were coming home with me, and I knew exactly what I was going to do with them. Here I sear them in a super hot pan so they get a nice salty crust but are sweet and tender in the middle, then serve it with a bacon onion tomato jam and basil chiffonade. I’ve made bacon jam with other kinds of seafood and meat, but I must say, I think it works the best with scallops. There’s just something about the scallops with the crispy salty smoky bacon and the sweet basil. You can’t go wrong with this beautiful dish! Here’s how to make it (and check out how HUGE these scallops are):
Serves 2 (entree portion). Easily doubles and triples.
1/2 lb scallops, preferably U-10
6 oz bacon, preferably center cut
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped grape tomatoes
1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or balsamic)
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper
a handful of basil leaves
Fry up the bacon over medium heat until nice and crispy. Move to a paper towel and blot the excess grease off. Add the onion to the pan, and caramelize for 10 minutes over medium heat until softened:
Add the chopped tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 more minutes so the tomatoes can soften and the flavors can meld together.
Heat up a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Pat your scallops dry with a paper towel. Look how HUGE my scallops were!
Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then sear the scallops for about 2 minutes on each side (you don’t want to overcook these beauties)!
Chop up the bacon and stir it into the onion tomato jam, and serve alongside the seared scallops. Chiffonade or chop the basil leaves and sprinkle over the dish, and drizzle a little bit of olive oil on the plate. Enjoy!