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Crispy Oven Baked Bay Scallops with Bacon

February 25, 2012

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The sea defines the region I call home. The Atlantic Ocean and its bays and harbors are all around, happily setting the mood and pace of my life.

It’s especially wonderful living near the ocean because I absolutely LOVE seafood. In fact, when dining out, 99% of the time, it’s what I’ll order.

Which is why, during a good scallop season, I’ll go a little crazy and buy a dozen pounds or so. I get them directly from a bayman who has literally just harvested them nearby. They’re so magnificently sweet and tender that I simply can’t resist stocking up, especially since they freeze beautifully.

With so many scallops in my freezer, it also means I’m often experimenting with how to prepare them. Some experiments, frankly, seriously miss the mark. (I’ve learned the hard way how easy it can be to ruin perfectly good bay scallops.)

But this experiment was a hit. First of all, let’s face it — everything goes better with bacon! Add other magically delicious ingredients like garlic wine & lemon, plus a crispy panko topping, and, well, as my father — a serious lover of good food — used to say, “What’s not to like?”

IMPORTANT: When you buy bay scallops be SURE they are untreated. If treated, they taste of chemicals AND they release tons of water when they cook. In short they’re horrible and absolutely will not work in this (or any other) good scallop recipe.

Figure a half pound of scallops per person, meaning this recipe serves 2. But it can easily be multiplied to serve more people.

It’s pairs beautifully with a garden salad and side dishes like rice pilaf.

You’ll Need:

1 lb shucked & cleaned bay scallops

3 tbs white wine

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tbs butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, minced

1 tbs dried parsley

3 tbs evoo

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

2 oz bacon, cooked until crisp & then crumbled

A microwave safe baking dish just large enough to accommodate the scallops in one layer

A small mixing bowl

Steps:

1. In the baking dish, combine the wine, lemon juice, salt, pepper, butter & garlic.

2. Microwave the mixture a minute or so, until the butter melts, then stir it all together.

3. Rinse & pat the scallops dry with paper towels, removing all excess moisture. Then reserve.

4. Preheat the oven to 425.

5. In the mixing bowl, combine the shallot, parsley & evoo, then add the panko & crumbled bacon and toss until well mixed.

6. Place the cleaned & dried scallops in a single layer in the baking dish on top of the wine & butter mixture.

7. Top the scallops with the panko bacon mixture.

8. Bake uncovered about 15 – 20 minutes, until it’s bubbling hot.

9. Broil another 2 – 3 minutes, if necessary, until the topping is well browned.

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