Bacon-Wrapped Scallops


Smoked pork is perhaps a scallop’s most flavorful companion.
TIME 45 minutes
MAKES 4 servings
⅓ cup olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1½ pounds sea scallops
About 1 pound thinly sliced bacon (16 to 24 slices)
2 lemons, cut into quarters, for serving


Method
1 Soak wooden toothpicks (1 per scallop) in warm water while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Combine the oil, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the scallops to the marinade and toss gently to coat. Let the scallops sit in the bowl while you cook the bacon. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

2 Prepare a grill or turn on the broiler; the heat should be medium-high and the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. If you’re grilling, brush the grates clean and grease them well. If you’re broiling, grease a rimmed baking sheet with a thin film of oil.

3 Put the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat; you will need to work in batches. Cook, turning and adjusting the heat as necessary so they don’t burn, until the slices are cooked lightly but flexible enough to wrap around a scallop, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining bacon.

4 Cut the bacon into pieces that will wrap around the scallops without overlapping too much. Wrap each piece around a scallop and secure it with one of the soaked toothpicks, stuck horizontally through the center.

5 To grill: Put the scallops directly over the fire. To broil: Put the scallops on the prepared baking sheet and under the heat source. Cook, turning once, until they are lightly charred on both sides and a paring knife can be inserted with little resistance, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve right away, with the lemon wedges.

Variations
  • Simply Grilled or Broiled Scallops: Skip the garlic and bacon. Toss the scallops with the oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Grill or broil as directed in Step 5.
  • Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Scallops: In Step 1, combine½ cup very finely chopped fresh basil leaves with the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Instead of marinating the scallops, make a deep horizontal slit in the side of each scallop with a paring knife, but don’t cut all the way through. Fill each scallop with about ½ teaspoon of the basil mixture, then close. Put the remaining oil onto a plate and gently coat the scallops in it. Continue with the recipe.

Tips
  • If you end up cooking the bacon so that it’s too crisp to use as a wrapping, just crumble it up and sprinkle it on top of the scallops after cooking.

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