Pan Fried Scallops with Bacon and Grapefruit

February 12, 2013 3 Comments

Scallops with Bacon and Grapefruit

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 there is a recipe that catches her eye in the Sunday New York Times, off to the market she goes to give it a 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. One of those recipes – Scallops with Grapefruit and Bacon – we cooked together last night and it was a huge success. So good that I deemed it “As Good as It Gets” and because it took just 35 minutes to prep and prepare, “Quick & Easy“.

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 good! Did I really just 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 Fried Scallops with Bacon and Grapefruit

Bacon Cut Into Matchsticks

Scallops cooking

Pan Frying the Scallops


Pan Fried Scallops with Bacon and Grapefruit

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Serving Size: 4 servings

Pan Fried Scallops with Bacon and Grapefruit


3 strips of thick sliced bacon (3 oz)

1 large grapefruit (we used fresh pre-sectioned grapefruit)

1 /4 pounds sea scallops (approximately 20)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup minced onion

1/2 cup Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc

2 tablespoons capers, drained

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

How To Prepare At Home

Prep Work

Bacon - stack the three strips of bacon and cut into 1/4 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.

Begin Cooking

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. We served this dish with rice pilaf, roasted Brussels sprouts and the rest of the Pinot Grigio that we used in the recipe.


everyone loved this recipe, especially my two daughters. Great for a weekday because it is so quick to prepare but elegant enough to serve friends on the weekend. I have a feeling this Good As It Gets, Quick and Easy recipe will become a regular in our house.

Let me know what you think.

Last modified on Thu 4 September 2014 11:22 am

Comments (3)

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  1. jim lennartz says:

    let me start by saying your website is my favorite for not being overwhelmed by advertisements or commitments to whatever before we will share information with you.
    this is my go-to place for recipes like the pan fried scallops one above. my wife & i are hosting a dinner of 6 next month & this will be the main course. i would like to add another item along with the scallops if appropriate. adding a 4 to 6 oz rib-eye stake cut into strips, encircled w/a heavy strip of bacon, seared, then topped with Demi Glacs Gold (your opinion is welcomed). i am also using your mushroom soup less the chicken for the appetizer. this is sure to be a crowd pleas-er as you know.
    to top the dinning experience off with a dish of tapioca pudding served warm with a vanilla wafer along with a spritzing of lemon drop candy crushed up finally beside a fresh mint leaf……..
    i value your experience & welcome your input provided you have the time.

    Jim L.

  2. Elizabeth Tom says:

    This was delicious! my scallops didn’t look as nicely browned as they do in the picture, but this still tasted great. I will definitely be making again. The flavors all go very nicely together. I served this with rosemary roasted potatoes.
    I’m so glad I happened to stumble upon this website, I will definitely be trying out more of the recipes.

  3. Jack Landau says:

    Hi…now that you explained London Broil…How about a great marinade for it with all the ingredients and proportions??? 🙂

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