The Maine scallop season is here, and we are enjoying this luxury seafood. Scallops sautéed with butter, scallops baked with lemon crust, scallops marinated and grilled; all are delicious ways to savor these luscious bivalves.
Fresh scallops keep extremely well in a cold refrigerator for several days. We like to portion them into 4- or 8-ounce packages and freeze them to eat all year round.
Scallops wrapped in bacon are often served as cocktail or party fare. The recipe is pretty standard; thin slices of bacon are wrapped around a scallop, secured with a toothpick, and then broiled or roasted.
Sounds easy, and it is with a little bit of practice. The key is to get the bacon crispy without overcooking the scallop. And that’s the tricky part.
Some techniques I’ve learned over time include using thinly sliced bacon and cutting the piece in half. It’s a bit more difficult to wrap around the scallop, but worth the effort. Also pay attention to the size of the scallop. If it is too fat, the bacon won’t wrap completely around it, too small, and it becomes a greasy mess.
In the recipe for Scallops Wrapped in Bacon with Spicy Mayo, the scallops are tossed with oil, lime zest and salt and pepper. Instead of broiling them, I like to bake in a hot oven, checking and turning them frequently. The dipping sauce, a spicy blend of Greek yogurt and mayonnaise with hot chili paste and lime juice, is just the right foil for the sweet and saltiness of the scallop and bacon.
My husband says these are perfect party food. These tasty treats may be prepped in advance and served hot when guests arrive. Prepare them in the morning and store in the refrigerator.
When folks show up to watch the Patriots on their way to the Super Bowl, slip the scallops in the oven. Serve with small bowls of dipping sauce, your favorite local cider or beer, or a nice, cold and crisp Riesling, and lots of napkins!
Scallops Wrapped in Bacon with Spicy Dipping Sauce
Makes 16 pieces
1 lb. Maine sea scallops
½ lb. thinly sliced bacon
1 Tbsp. sesame oil or olive oil
Grated zest from 1 lime
Sea salt and fresh pepper
Juice from one lime
¼ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsps. hot chili paste (more or less to taste)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the muscle from the scallops. Place in a medium bowl. Add the oil, lime zest, sea salt and fresh pepper. Stir to coat evenly.
Slice the bacon in half and wrap each scallop with bacon, securing with a toothpick.
Bake until the bacon is cooked thru, about 15 minutes, turning during the cooking process.
To prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, mix the yogurt, mayonnaise, hot chili paste and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and chopped fresh cilantro.
Serve dipping sauce with scallops.
Nutritional analysis per scallop with ½ tablespoon sauce: 129 calories, 10 grams protein, 2 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat, 362 mg. sodium, less than 1 gram fiber.