Three words: bacon wrapped scallops.
Other than maybe the location of your New Year’s Eve party, “bacon wrapped scallops” is all you need on the cute embossed invitations you bought off Etsy to guarantee people choose your party over anyone else’s. People can’t say no to bacon.
Here’s more truth about bacon wrapped scallops: perfectly pan searing scallops and then wrapping them in hot bacon, risking the chance of second degree burns, layering them between honeyed brussels sprouts on a shish kebab, pausing a sec to wipe your brow and take a swig of your fave bevie, and then, instead of immediately consuming them, you give these beautiful scallops swaddled in crisp bacon to your friends and family; that is true love. Throw some mildly spicy chipotle sauce on there, well, what’s more than true love? The meaning of life, I guess.
The brussels sprouts are sweet and caramelly with a welcome bitterness that balances the decadence of the bacon wrapped scallop combo. Biting into one of these is a burst of crunch and salt with a finish that is the tender sweetness of the sea. The smokey heat of the chipotle sauce sings underneath it all like a gentle baritone.
They’re pretty good. Good enough for a party. Even for a party saying goodbye to a very weird and complicated year (i.e. U.S. presidential election). Good riddance 2016!
I developed this bacon wrapped scallop recipe for you so that you can show your people that they are your people, and because I love you…and because I love bacon.
The surprising thing is these look way harder to make than they really are.
This is not going to be as easy as the frozen quiches so famously displayed at all parties and baby showers you have been to over the last 15 years (but if you’re into that sort of thing try these mini cauliflower frittatas). It will be a little bit of work. But it is not daunting. YOU can do it. I believe in you.
Bacon wrapped scallops play-by-play:
1. Chipotle Sauce
First, make the chipotle sauce. You can even make it the day before. It thickens up a little in the fridge and also this way, your skewers won’t go cold while you make your sauce. Although, they are very tasty served cold too. Throw all the ingredients for the sauce in a food processor or blender. Chill. If you like more heat, add another chipotle pepper.
2. Brussels Sprouts
Next, quarter 18-20 brussels sprouts. Toss with melted butter, honey, and salt. Throw in your hot, 415° F oven. Forget about them for 10 minutes, turn them over, then forget about them for 10 more. Take out golden perfection.
Be kind to yourself and bake your bacon in the oven. As a result it will only take 15 minutes and you won’t even have to flip them. Use parchment paper people. And make sure it goes over the edges to keep the hard-to-clean-up bacon grease off the pan. Dispose bacon grease in compost or garbage once it’s cooled!
Next you will sear the scallops. Pat the scallops dry and season them with salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat get a cast iron skillet and a good drizzle of pure olive oil bloody hot but not smoking. Put enough scallops in the pan so that they are not touching each other. You will probably have to do two batches. If it’s not a screaming sizzle when you put them in, it is not hot enough. Once the scallop releases from the pan, cuz meat sticks to a hot pan until it’s ready to turn, and the side is slightly golden, around 1-2 minutes, flip. The goal here is just to give them some color.
Ok, all your things are done. Now you just have to assemble your skewers. The skewers I made are hella huge, and you could make them that way too, but to get more bang for your buck I recommend using a smaller skewer or fancy little tooth pick and only using one bacon wrapped scallop and two brussels sprouts per serving.
You will have to work fast here. You want to get the bacon wrapped and onto the skewer before it cools. Otherwise it will just break when you try to put them on. So if you have any needy dependents who just want to hug you all the time and tell you that you’re the best mommy ever hand them an iPad and tell them to leave you alone.
Here is how you assemble the skewers:
- Put a brussels sprout on the skewer towards the bottom.
- Take 1 piece of bacon and 1 scallop. Be careful, the bacon is hot. Roll the scallop in the bacon so that the golden seared side of the scallop is showing and the bacon has made a nice circle around the scallop. Place on skewer going through the exposed bacon end to secure it.
- Finish with another brussels sprout. If you’re making the grande edition like I made, add another bacon wrapped scallop and then finish with one last brussels sprout.
You did it! I knew you could.
So about the elephant in the room.
While I just gave you an entire recipe and some weird and wonderful pictures of bacon without even mentioning that this is a new blog or that this is my first post on this new blog, I also neglected to explain what this strange place called Pop Kitchen is exactly. I haven’t talked about who I am or why I am doing this.
Hi, I’m Stacy.
Pop Kitchen is a food blog about upbeat cooking and having fun.
Why I started Pop Kitchen
- I believe that the amount of care one puts into making a meal for someone has a direct correlation about how much they care for them, even if what you make is scrambled eggs and toast. I want to give people the tools necessary to lavishly care for the people they love.
- The fact that I am a trained chef who loves cooking but is also disillusioned by working in the food industry can have its difficulties. I would rather spend my time exploring food through various creative outlets such as writing , photography, and sharing food with others.
- I religiously watch that popular, tear jerking Netflix series called “A Chef’s Table”. No really, it makes me cry. And as a result of the fact that food, recipe development, and cooking, when it’s done extremely well, makes me cry is why I decided to go whole hog and start a food blog. Because I want to be challenged. I want to write a cookbook. To be my own boss. I want to take risks and be silly. Most notably I want to feed good people good food.
So here I am. The place I have created is called Pop Kitchen. You can read more about me over in my about page.
Here are 3 things I promise Pop Kitchen will be:
- Fiercely concerned about food while remaining cooly ambivalent.
- A bright and colorful internet party. There will be literal dancing.
- Authentic-ish. I will never pretend to be an expert about a food culture that I do not understand (I will stay away from the words “exotic” or “authentic”). Everything I present here are my real opinions, perspectives, and abnormalities. I am going to be honest about who I am, the experience I have, and the food I love.
So this is me and my space. I’m proud of it. And now I’m giving it to you. And I’m starting out by sharing some tips and recipe ideas for your New Year’s festivities. Expect to see more party recipes to pop up in the next few days as we count down to 2017. Tomorrow, there will be crepes (raise the roof emoji)!
This is my version of a New Year’s Eve party invitation to you. My bright little space for exploring, reaching, and tasting. It’s not a cute embossed invitation off of Etsy, but I hope that “bacon wrapped scallops” will be enough to convince you to come.
You can RSVP by signing up for my e-mail newsletter in one of the many “subscribe” options I have set up for you on this site (wink wink, nudge nudge). I’ll email you when a new recipe is up so you’ll never miss a post. Finally, I am flattered by your engagement and if you like what I got, tell your friends, yo!
What are you making for your lovies this New Year’s Eve? Let me know along with any of your New Year’s Eve cooking questions and conundrums in the comments below.
Until tomorrow friends!
- 18 Brussel Sprouts, quartered
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp honey
- sea salt
- 24 strips of bacon (preferably uncured, cuz chemicals)
- parchement paper
- 1 lb fresh scallops (go see your fish monger, yo!)
- 1 Tbsp pure olive oil
- 12 kebab skewers or 24 sturdy toothpicks
- 1 chipotle pepper, canned in adobo sauce
- 1 Tbsp adobo sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- pinch of nutmeg
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Pour yourself a glass of wine or san pell. This food is sexy, so please listen to Anderson Paak's album, "Malibu" while you make these.
- Preheat your oven to 415°F/212°C.
- Make your chipotle sauce first. Toss the chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, mayo, yogurt, maple syrup, nutmeg and salt in a food processor or blender. Taste and season with more salt if necessary. Add more adobo or another chipotle if you want more heat. Put in a cutesy dish and chill.
- Toss your quartered brussels sprouts with the melted butter, honey and a good pinch of sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay down your bacon strips in single rows so that they do not overlap. Bake for 15 minutes. You want the bacon to be crispy and yet pliable before cooled.
- While the goods are roasting in the oven, heat up a cast iron skillet on medium-high to high heat with a little pure olive oil or refined coconut oil. Dry off your scallops with a kitchen or paper towel, season with some sea salt and then sear in the pan. Make sure it's really hot first (but not smoking) and only cook until just slightly golden brown. You do not want tough, fully cooked scallops.
- This next step takes a little finesse (see above for more detailed instructions for assembly). Wrap each scallop in a slice of bacon (be careful, it will be hot) and immediately put on a skewer. If you wait until the bacon crips up it will just break. Layer with your cooked brussels sprouts. Place each finished skewer on a paper towel to help the bacon crisp up.
- Serve warm or cold with chipotle sauce. Stick skewers in a halved watermelon or pineapple for optimal eye appeal.
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