Seared Scallop BLT with Candied Maple Bacon

I don’t have an anecdote about bacon-wrapped scallops. I do have a bacon-wrapped shrimp anecdote, so I am going to tell that and then shoehorn scallops in at the end. Have you ever tried to shoehorn a scallop? Not as easy as one might think.

I did recently enjoy some fried scallops at Bill’s Seafood at the singing bridge in Westbrook, Connecticut. They were sweet, plump, and buttery and even though Bill’s is by no means the best fish restaurant on the CT shoreline between Old Saybrook and Guilford, it is one my my favorite places because of the usual suspects of boozers at the bar, the boaters on the deck in the summer, and the band that has played every Friday night since I was sixteen and would sneak in to try to get served alcohol with my friends, and, come to think, probably long before.

Old couples get up and dance among the tables and it’s wonderful. From April through October, you can sit outside and feed French fries to seagulls, and in winter it’s extremely warm and cozy inside, and good to feel you’re near the water, even if it’s too cold to eat outdoors. It’s a most familiar place I miss whenever I’m away. I met my high school friends there when we were all home for Christmas, and it felt like time had stopped, for a minute. If you’re ever in Westbrook or Clinton, go there, you’ll see what I mean.

So it seems I have enough of a scallop story. Forget the shrimp. Let’s get on with the food.

This is just so genius. One of those why-didn’t-we-think-of-it-ourselves creations. If you serve these to your friends at a party, they will find you sexy and insightful. You could certainly simplify the recipe by using Hellmann’s (Best Foods) mayonnaise, a product we fully endorse, and not glazing your bacon in honey mustard maple glaze. But why would you NOT glaze your bacon in honey mustard maple glaze?! It’s a total winner and you probably have all of these condiments/pantry staples on hand already.

The same is true for the mayonnaise, which you can feel free to season any way you like, but I love the way its smoky spice complements the sweetness of the bacon and bitter bite of arugula. Just add the oil slowly, and whisk continuously and it won’t break, probably. As for the scallops, buy the largest, most beautiful sea scallops you can find. You will be temped to eat them when you pluck them from the pan, all brown and buttery. But, wait, if you can. Or buy extra scallops. Yes, do that. You won’t regret it.

And the tomatoes – well, I found a box of tomatoes branded “Backyard Farms Cocktail Tomatoes” available at our grocery store, which are New England grown and manage to be pretty delicious for January tomatoes. They are sweet and even smell like tomatoes. And they happened to be the perfect size for this project. Cherry tomatoes, I’m sure, will also work well. Serve with crusty bread, a salad, and a Belgian white beer.

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