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Charlie Palmer's Bacon - Wrapped
Pinot Noir Pairing by Daryl Groom, award-winning winemaker and Pigs & Pinot Wine Coordinator:
I'd pair Bacon Wrapped Scallops with a more elegant but great structured, Pinot selecting something from Oregon or Sonoma Coast to not overpower the scallop but could also match with the pepper. One of our favorites is Tony Soter from Oregon.
For the Scallops
- 6 sea scallops
- 6 bacon strips
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ cup dry white wine
For the Pepper Salad
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into thick strips
- 4 large basil leaves, torn
For the polenta
- 2 ½ cups chicken stock
- ½ tsp piment d'espelette or paprika
- ¾ cup instant polenta
- 3 Tbsp mascarpone
To Prepare the scallops
Wrap a strip of bacon around each scallop. Slide the scallops onto two 6-inch bamboo skewers, both to both secure the bacon and to make the scallops easier to turn when sautéing. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
To Prepare the Peppers
Toast the garlic in the olive oil just until light golden brown, swirling the pan constantly. Add the peppers and season with salt and piment d'espelette. Cook just long enough to heat the peppers through, then tip them onto a plate and set aside.
To Prepare the Polenta
Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium-size saucepan; season with salt and piment d'espelette. Whisk in the polenta and cook for 10 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and fold in the mascarpone. Adjust the seasoning. Set aside, covered, until ready to serve. If the polenta cools before you serve it, it will stiffen up. If this happens, reheat the polenta over low heat as you vigorously whisk in a little more stock to restore the creamy texture.
To Assemble the Dish
Heat the oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat until smoking. Season the scallops (leave them on the skewers) with salt and pepper. Sear the scallops, then reduce the heat to medium-high once they've begun to color around the edges. Shake the pan gently so the oil gets under the scallops; this helps them sear and color evenly. Flip after 3 minutes and continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove the scallops from the pan and keep in a warm place loosely tented with aluminum foil. Pour the wine into the pan and simmer for 1 minute, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the peppers, and cook until the wine has fully reduced. Remove from the heat and toss in the basil.
Spoon a pool of polenta onto each of 2 heated plates. Lay a skewer of scallops over the polenta and then pull out the skewer. Serve the warm pepper salad on the side.