Tantalizing bacon wrapped scallops are enhanced with a cracked pepper apricot chutney and served over baby spinach leaves for an elegant dish that reminiscent of a 5-star Fine dining restaurant.
This particular dish is my personal attempt to reproduce the amazing flavor of Morton’s Steakhouse broiled scallops that we enjoyed immensely at an elegant anniversary dinner several years ago.
While this dish is not cheap or frugal per se, it does not mean that you shouldn’t enjoy fine foods. This dish costs $18. for a serving of 3 scallops at Morton’s Steakhouse- here’s how you can enjoy the same flavor for about $3. per person:
1 lb fresh sea scallops (about 9 large scallops)
12 slices thick bacon (about 1/2 pound)
1 cup apricot preserves
1 rounded tsp. whole black tellicherry peppercorns -coarsely crushed
1/3 cup prepared horseradish- after measuring, wrap in a doubled paper towel or piece of cheesecloth and squeeze over sink to drain liquid
9 toothpicks- soaked in water for 10 minutes
Precook the bacon by the slices on a cookie sheet at 400F for about 5-6 minutes. They should be mostly done, but not completely done as they will bake for another 8 minutes under the broiler. (how to cook perfect bacon)
While the bacon is pre-cooking, rinse the scallops under cool water, remove the muscle (the small flap/tab on the side of the scallop). Pat dry with paper towels or a clean/dry/lint free cloth. Place on a paper towel or clean cloth to continue to absorb excess moisture.
Let bacon cool for 5 minutes before attempting to wrap. Pat excess bacon fat from each piece of bacon and Wrap partially cooked bacon around the scallop, you can secure it with a toothpick that has been soaked in water for at least 10 minutes, or you can skewer 3-4 scallops together with a metal skewer.
Notice that the bacon is not perfectly smooth fitting – one side will be perfectly smooth, the other side will not.
Lightly spread a touch of melted butter on a cookie sheet- place the smooth side of the wrapped scallop down. Lightly butter the top of the scallop for even browning.
Broil in oven until golden brown and no longer translucent inside, 4-5 minutes* – remove from oven, flip over, return to oven for an additional 4 minutes. Gently remove the toothpick, plate and serve with chutney over the top or on the side.
To make the chutney – just mix the preserves, crushed pepper and drained horseradish together in small saucepan over low heat. Heat for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. This is basically to combine the flavors and take the chill off so that it doesn’t cool the scallops too quickly.
Plate the scallops over a few leaves of fresh spinach and drizzle lightly with chutney.
GroceryBudget101 Budget Breakdown:
Scallops 1lb $7.99 (Walmart)
1/2 Pound Bacon $1.50 (Walmart average is 2.99 pound)
Spinach Leaves .20 worth
Horseradish .50 worth
Apricot Preserves (1.97 jar, uses 1/2 jar) .99
Total Cost of Recipe $11.25, serves 4 = $2.81 per person
The bacon can be purchased cheaper by buying in it bulk or during sales. We frequently purchase it 10# boxes for as little as $2 per pound.
*Scallop cooking time is figured on an average 1″ thick scallop if your scallops are slightly thicker add an additional minute of cooking. They should be opaque throughout when properly done. If you overcook them, they’ll be chewy/rubbery in texture.