Scallops, Bacon & Grapefruit - How Good Can It Get
One thing I love about my wife is how she enjoys experimenting with new recipes. If I happen to leave one of my old cooking magazines lying around the kitchen, she'll pick it up and decide to try a few recipes from it.
Or if a recipe catches her eye in the Sunday New York Times, off to the market, she goes to try that night.
This past weekend, she found three recipes in my October 2012 issue of Food and Wine, picked up ingredients for them, and made plans to cook each one this week. We cooked one of those recipes - Scallops with Grapefruit and Bacon - last night, and it was a huge success.
There are thousands of great recipes out there, but to be "As Good As It Gets," it has to be exceptional. It has to be one of those recipes where you sit back and say, “Damn, this is good! Did I really make this at home?"
Lots of flavor, every bite better than the next, good texture, not too complicated and something I would serve family and friends at a dinner party. And my kids liked it. Not asking too much, am I?
- Grapefruit - the recipe calls for 1 large grapefruit but we used pre-sliced grapefruit in juice that Meg picks up at the supermarket to eat in the morning for breakfast. Good substitute and saves a few minutes on those busy weeknights.
- Scallops - we try to always have a bag of frozen scallops in the freezer for those nights we want to make a quick risotto or pasta but because this recipe features the scallops as the main ingredient, Meg picked up some Dry or sometimes called Day Boat scallops.These scallops are caught and returned to the market all in the same day. They are not soaked in sodium tripolyphosphate (STP) to keep them fresh when for a few days or weeks on the fishing boat at sea.What makes them so good to cook with, besides their freshness, is they don't shrink to half their size when cooked. They cost a little more but when you account for shrinkage, they are well worth the price.
Pan Frying the Scallops
Pan Fried Scallops with Bacon and Grapefruit
- Bacon - stack the three strips of bacon and cut into ¼ inch match sticks.
- Grapefruit - if using a whole grapefruit, peel, remove the white pith and remove individual slices by cutting between the membranes. Do this over a bowl so you can capture and reserve the juice for later.
- Start by heating up a large fry pan big enough to hold all the scallops.
- Add the bacon and cook for about 3 minutes until crisp and the fat is rendered from the bacon.
- Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon or slotted spatula and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any fat. The recipe says to pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat but I didn't find that necessary. Maybe my bacon isn't so fatty.
- Add the scallops to the pan, season with salt and pepper and pan fry over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. When you flip the scallops over, they should be nice and brown.
- Add the onion to the pan and cook for another 3 minutes and transfer to a plate.Don't make the mistake I did by lining the plate with a paper towel to absorb any juices that may release out of them when resting. These juices are going to be added back to the pan when making the sauce. Silly me!
- Deglaze the pan with the white wine, then add the reserved grapefruit juice (approximately 3 tablespoons) to the pan and bring to a simmer. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula. Let this cook for about a minute or two.
- Strain this liquid into a heatproof cup (I used my pyrex measuring cup) and return the strained liquid to the pan.
- Add the capers and butter and cook until the sauce thickens to a nice consistency. Be sure to stir the sauce while it is cooking and give the pan a shake now and again to keep it moving. This should take about 3 minutes.
- Add the scallops back to the pan along with the juice that you didn't let get absorbed onto a paper towel.
- Add the grapefruit slices and reserved bacon pieces into the pan, then flip each scallop so it gets coated with the sauce.
- Serve immediately.