A couple of weeks ago, I won a contest on Foodbuzz for a cookbook from a restaurant in Connecticut named Barcelona. Elizabeth from EONYC had the contest. She loves Barcelona and now I know why!!! I found it pretty amusing because I love one in downtown Indy called Barcelona Tapas. In fact, we're heading there in a week or so with some good friends. It'll be Connie's first visit and my fifth - thanks to meeting clients there for lunch.
The cookbook arrived at the office and I snuck a peek. Beautiful photography. I snuck another peek at a couple of the recipes. Pretty darned good. That night, I took the cookbook home. While dinner was cooking, I sat down in a chair (ok, the only chair one COULD sit down in since we'd had the carpets cleaned and all was total chaos) and started from the beginning. I got to the part on the Spanish wines and knew Connie would be as fascinated as I was. So, on went the sweatshirt and out to the porch went the cookbook. He had the same reaction I had: We have to have a tapas party!!!!
One of the recipes stood out. No, not because it sounded better than all the others, but because we happened to have all the ingredients. Including some wonderful little brussels sprouts from our garden. Little is the operative word here. The recipe called for tearing apart the brussels sprouts and browning the leaves. Right, but not with these guys. Guess, what? They were still incredible. The recipe also called for slab bacon cut into 1/2" dice. I had our normal - Wright's Smoked Bacon. It's thick cut bacon that we buy at Sam's Club. I started buying it because a gal was standing in front of the bacon and said something to her sister, friend, whoever about picking up Wright's bacon. Now, I'd talk to a rock. So, I asked and she said Wright's is the best. You know what, she's about Wright. Ohhh, sorry for the pun. I'm sure there are artisan bacons better. But remember, this is pretty much budget stuff from Sam's. I'm also trying to clean out the freezer for the big holiday party. Two meals worth of scallops out there. Score to use up half of them. And, by the way, the recipe says to be sure to use the really good dry scallops. I can guarantee that the scallops we buy at Sams are NOT the best kind. So, I turned up the heat a bit and it pretty much caramelized all the liquid. Now, the recipe called for cooking the bacon in butter and adding more butter to the almost finished dish. Talk about gilding the lily. There's plenty of fat from the bacon. You really don't need any additional fat from butter.
What did we think? Can I make this again right now and get back to you? YUM! If you love scallops, this is a must. The sweetness of the scallops absolutely shines. The brussels sprouts lose most of their musty flavor because of the scallops - well and the bacon and the white wine. Ok, it all just plays together perfectly.
Scallops with Brussels Sprouts
1 cup Brussels Sprouts
12 giant scallops
1/4 pound bacon, chopped
2 shallots, diced
1 t chopped garlic
3/4 c dry white wine
Trim the root end of the Brussels sprouts.
Not exactly trimming the root end but aren't they the cutest little Brussels sprouts?
Boil the Brussels sprouts for about three minutes.
Drain and plunge into ice water. Set the Brussels sprouts aside. Once they're cool enough to handle, separate the leaves.
Brown the bacon on medium heat. Once the bacon has rendered its fat - about 5 minutes - add the scallops.
Cook until they're nice and brown on the bottom. You may need to turn up the heat to medium-high to accomplish this. Flip the scallops. Add the Brussels sprouts leaves, garlic and shallot to the pan.
Stir to combine. Remove the scallops to a warm pan. Pour in the white wine and stir up the browned bits.
Stir for about five minutes or until the wine has reduced by half. Turn off the heat and add the scallops back into the pan.
Toss to coat them then serve.
adapted from Barcelona Cookbook