Seared Scallop Bite with Bacon Crumble

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My friend was hosting supper club this month and the theme was Valentine’s Day.  All couples attending had to wear red and the level of food was elevated to celebrate the special occasion.  I wanted to create a one-bite appetizer that would be light yet satisfying.

A few weeks ago, while out to lunch with the family, I had the pleasure of introducing my pallet to a scallop sausage wrapped in pork belly.  It’s a different take on scalloped wrapped bacon.  I loved the savory flavors of the pork belly, which complimented the delicate flavor of the scallop.  This was my inspiration for my appetizer.

Ingredients, for 24 bites:

10 scallops, medium to large

3 slices of Black Forest Bacon

1 16 oz bag of baby spinach

1 Myer lemon

½ cup chopped cilantro, separated in 2 parts

1 ripe avocado

2 TB canola oil

Dash of sriracha

Salt to taste

Start by cutting the bacon in ½ length wise, and then cut into ¼ inch slices.  Add bacon to a hot sauté pan on med/high heat and cook for 5 minutes.  Once the bacon is starting to brown, increase the heat to high for 1 minute then remove when it is crispy.  Reserve the bacon fat for a later use.  Place bacon on paper towel to drain fat and cool.  Once cooled add to food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds and set bacon crumble aside.

Remove the scallop muscle from the scallop.  The muscle is attached to the meaty circle flesh. The muscle is edible but chewy so it is best to remove when searing scallops. Depending on the size of the scallop, slice in ½ or 1/3rds.  You want to make all the slices the same size, about ¼ inch thick. Place sliced scallops on a paper towel and blot dry.  Always make sure you have dry scallops to work with when you are searing for best carmelization.

Zest the Myer lemon and set zest aside.  Juice lemon into food processor, then add avocado, oil, ¼ cup cilantro, sriracha and salt to taste and blend until creamy, like the consistence of yogurt. Place contents in a sandwich or quart sized plastic bag.

Clean out the chopper and completely dry it.  Pat the bacon to make sure you remove any access bacon grease.  Add to chopper and chop for 15-30 seconds until it’s the size of small grains of rice.  Set aside.

Next, thinly slice the spinach into strips.  Add 1 tsp of the reserved bacon fat to sauté pan.  Sauté the spinach on medium heat for 2 minutes until wilted and set aside.

Add 1 TB of bacon fat to sauté pan and heat pan on medium high heat.  You want to make sure you have a hot pan but not smoking.  Add the entire scallop and let sauté for 1-½ minutes on one side and set aside.  Now it’s time for plating or spooning for that matter.

Grab a bowl of hot water and submerge the avocado cream bag.  Add a small tsp. of spinach on top of the spoon, then add a pinch of fresh chopped cilantro and place the scallop on top.  Next, take your avocado bag and cut the corner of the bag.  Squeeze a dollop of avocado cream on top; next add the bacon crumble and a few slices of zest. 

This is one bite that your guests will not only find very eye appealing but also leave them humming in satisfaction while they enjoy their bite.  In this case, I love eating these 2gether with my supper club.