Last night was our scallop dinner, accompanied by The Haunting in Connecticut. First, a brief movie review.
For those of you who haven't seen it yet, it's a decent movie. Most people I know who'd seen it said it was "really good." Well, I'm not sure I'd go that far. I'm a huge fan of scary thrillers and will watch 'em even if I think they'll turn out to be cheesy. This wasn't cheesy, but it just wasn't as scary as I'd expected. Will I watch it again? Probably not. Would I buy it? Definitely not. But it was still good to see. And now I'm interested in doing a little more research to find out just how much of it is true and how much is embellished.
Dinner turned out pretty tasty, although not as flavor packed as we anticipated. We adapted the recipe from allrecipes.com to suite our tastes, and even after we'd cut out 1/4 c. of the recommended maple syrup, it still made a lot more marinade than necessary for 12 large scallops. The recipe suggested marinating for at least an hour, but there were many conflicting reviews regarding this. Some said that the longer you marinate, the sweeter the scallops get (I'm not huge on overly sweet meat/seafood). Several said that they get rubbery if marinated too long, although Buppy and I guessed this had more to do with overcooking. I had partially fried all the bacon we used the night before while Buppy was at work, so that was a skipped step for us last night. Also, we baked them on a broiler pan instead of a baking sheet. We're not sure if this is why they didn't hold a lot of their flavor; maybe they were supposed to bake in the goodness that was the marinade, but then they wouldn't have gotten as crispy as I like 'em!
Marinated Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops
Adapted from Gabsmom on allrecipes.com
1/2 c. maple syrup (yes, we used the fake-me-out kind and it was still good)
1/4 c. soy sauce (we didn't have low sodium on hand and used regular)
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (I eyeballed this)
12 jumbo sea scallops, halved
12 slices smoked bacon, halved (we used thick cut)
The bacon, in my opinion, should be partially cooked for this recipe or else, as I said in my previous post, it'll be sloppy and not crispy as I like it. I partially cooked mine the night before and just took it out of the fridge when I started marinating the scallops so it could come to room temperature and be pliable when I needed to wrap the scallops. If you haven't done that yet, be off on your merry way and partially cook your bacon. Come see me when you've finished your homework.
All done? Ok then. The first 3 ingredients get mixed together, then the scallops should be thrown in (well, not literally thrown or that would fling sauce all over your kitchen!) We let ours marinate for about an hour, which yielded a very faint hint of flavor. Mostly the kitchen just smelled like pancake syrup. I love scallops regardless of how they're cooked, but more time in the marinade probably wouldn't have been bad. Probably would have made 'em even yummy-er.
So after however long you marinade your scallops for (I wouldn't go longer than a day), the next step requires gettin' dirty. I made Buppy do this while I fixed the salad. He's a great in the kitchen! Since the scallops are halved and the bacon is halved, whatdaya think comes next? Yup, wrap a slice o' bacon around each scallop half and secure with a toothpick or 2. I don't recommend the colorful toothpicks; a chicken dish of mine once turned all sorts of fabulous colors and I haven't used them since. Talk about tasting the rainbow....
Ok, we're almost there. Place all bacon wrapped scallop halves on a broiler pan and bake at 375F for about 6 minutes per side (give or take), depending on their size. I flipped my oven over to broil towards the end for an additional 2-3 minutes or so to get the top a little crusty and to really crisp up the bacon edges. Then pull 'em out and eat 'em hot!
Like I said, ours were good but didn't have nearly as much flavor as we thought they would. I think next time we'll marinate them for 5 hours or so and I'll play around with the ingredients (and add good stuff like garlic); then we'll see what happens! These scallops were served with sliced garlic bread and green salad.