This fantastic recipe requires extra-large sea scallops, since they are cut into quarters. If you can only get the smaller ones, then get twelve and halve them instead. The scallops are marinated in ginger, garlic, and balsamic vinegar, and then wrapped in the bacon along with a slice of water chestnut. The balsamic vinegar marinade is then poured over the top and the scallops are baked in the oven until they are perfectly cooked.
If you usually have your scallops plain, then you might want to try this recipe to discover what they are like when you add extra flavor in the form of a marinade, and then wrap them in bacon, which is something else that works brilliantly with seafood. Perhaps you have tried bacon-wrapped shrimp before, in which case you will know how delicious the bacon flavor is when combined with seafood.
Bacon does not crisp up in an oven the same way it does in a skillet, so you might wish to fry it for a few minutes first if this is an issue for you. It will be soft enough to cut with a fork after baking it, but fry it for a few minutes first (not until crispy, else it will snap when you attempt to wrap the scallops) for more crunch.
- 6 extra-large sea scallops
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts
- 12 halved slices bacon
- ½ inch ginger, thinly sliced
- Put a slotted broiler pan in the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Pat the scallops dry then quarter them.
- Mix the vinegar with the ginger, sugar, and garlic, and marinate the scallops in this for 10 minutes.
- Do not marinate them for too long, else the subtle seafood flavor might be overpowered.
- Arrange the bacon slices in one layer on a baking sheet.
- Drain the water chestnuts.
- Add 2 slices of water chestnut to each half-slice of bacon.
- Top with a scallop piece, then wrap the water chestnut slices and scallop quarters in the bacon, securing with toothpicks.
- Place the bacon-wrapped scallops on their sides with the exposed side facing outwards.
- Sieve the garlic and ginger out of the vinegar, and then drizzle the remaining liquid over the scallops.
- Bake for 10 minutes, turning once.
These flavorful scallops wrapped in bacon can be served as part of a meal, with side dishes like asparagus and mashed potatoes like you see in the picture, or you can serve them alone as an appetizer. It is completely your choice. Since the scallops will be in the oven, your side dishes will need to be made on the stove or made in advance. The sweetness of the balsamic vinegar and sugar contrasts beautifully with the salty bacon flavor, and the soft scallops contrast well with the crunchy water chestnuts, making this a very interesting dish. It is easy to make, and you will agree the taste is amazing.
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