What could be better than biting into a soft pillowy jumbo scallop nestled in a nice blanket of bacon, garlic, cream? Not much.
I love splurging on yummy seafood around the holidays. My husband goes crazy for scallops, so I thought I’d pick some up at Costco (they have their big seafood bins out for the holidays) and experiment with new recipes.
I have made this recipe twice in the past week, and it’s really easy. Go ahead, make it and then ask your significant other, parents, friends, kids.. for whatever you want, you’ll get it!
Scallops with a bacon and garlic cream sauce – low carb, keto friendly. Serves 4 (About 5 large scallops per person).
*Prep all of your ingredients before you start cooking, as this recipe moves fairly quickly and you don’t want to be dicing or measuring while cooking.
- 1 lb sea scallops (If you can get the jumbo ones, those are the best, otherwise the smaller ones work too) drain, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper
- 4 strips of bacon, chopped into small bite-sized pieces
- 1 large garlic clove, finely diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 3/4 cup dry white wine or you can use 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2-3/4 cup chicken, turkey, or vegetable stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 ozs cream cheese
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
If you have a cast iron pan, I’d recommend using it for this recipe. If not a regular skillet or saucepan will do.
Heat your skillet to a nice medium-high and add the bacon pieces and cook, stirring frequently until it is about 3/4 of the way done and starting to brown. Add the chopped garlic, stirring constantly for about a minute. Add the diced onion and continue cooking until the onions are beginning to turn translucent and the bacon is completely cooked and crispy. While the onions are cooking, add the cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Turn down the heat to medium-low and add the white wine or apple cider vinegar. Let the wine or vinegar reduce about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, you should be able to see the bottom of the pan in between bubbles. Once reduced add 2 TBS of butter and incorporate while stirring. Add the heavy cream and stir constantly for about a minute, then add the cream cheese. You might need a whisk at this point to make sure the cream cheese and the rest of the sauce don’t have any lumps. During this time, add the chicken stock to thin it out. Use your best judgment on how much, start with a little and then increase if needed. Continuing cooking and stirring until the sauce starts to thicken. The sauce should be able to cling to a spoon nicely. Taste, salt, and pepper again if needed. Add a TBS of freshly squeezed lemon juice, stir and remove from heat.
Heat a smaller pan, I used my small cast iron, for the scallops. Melt 1 TBS butter and keep on high heat if using cast iron, med-high if using a different pan. You want the pan to be really hot to sear the scallops. Once the butter is nice and hot and beginning to foam, add the scallops. Leave them alone to cook for 2-3 minutes before you flip them. Check them to see if they are starting to brown. Once they are starting to brown flip them over. Leave them for 2-3 minutes. They are done when you press on them and they are firm but still bouncy. They don’t take long, watch them closely. If you are using smaller scallops, you might need to reduce the cooking time. Once they are done, remove from heat and squeeze the remaining lemon juice on them. Remove scallops from pan and place them in the pan with the bacon-garlic cream sauce. I served mine with some fresh steamed asparagus, it was perfect.
Serve immediately, and then send me thank-you notes!