Pan-fried Patagonian Sea Scallops with Bacon

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I've only very recently come to know (& love) scallops. It was a crash-course in tastes, actually. I first had them in paella at a Spanish restaurant in Manchester.

Before then, I always avoided them, shoved them onto the boyfriend's plate and happily munched away on everything else.

I've always been a picky eater and I'm starting to realize that that's a bit unfortunate. I'm hoping to expand my palate and to try new things, one grimacing bite at a time. Most recently it was the scallops. I was surprised by how fishy they were, which for most picky seafood eaters is a no-go, but for me, it was a tick under the right column. I love their fishyness. I love that they're firm but not too firm. They look like they should be gooey. They look like mini orbs of panacotta. They look unappetizing. Well, I should say the looked unappetizing. Now, I'm their biggest fan.

There's this ... culinary canon of dishes people who have not been trained as a chef are always wary to try cooking. It's normally things like: cheesecake, meringue, risotto, scallops. Some conniving (and insanely smart) chef started spewing the rumor that these foods were difficult to prepare. As a result, homecooks shy away from them and we all flock to restaurants for our fill of these dishes thought best left to the pros.

I'll admit, I first felt that way when it came to tackling the scallops. But, my gusto and my memory of how divine they tasted (plus the fact that they were on sale at the supermarket this week) all combined and saw me in my kitchen, plopping these babies into a wok of warmed olive oil.

I fried them, splashed on some lemon juice and a bit of white wine and added some diced bacon. I had intended to wrap the bacon in the scallops but the scallops, as you can see were far too small. Next time I prepare them, I'll prepare them as originally intended.

Everything else went according to plan. They were served on a bed of salted, steamed savoy cabbage with a baked potato added for sustenance. It was simple, quick, flavorful and delicious. I have no complaints.

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