You came here, most probably, to learn how to cook scallops in bacon- good for you, for that’s what I’m going to share today. As we know bacon-wrapped scallops, there are a couple of preparation methods. I will also teach you how to cook the scallops in a pan and in the oven and a genius trick to cook frozen scallops wrapped in bacon.
That sounds like quite a lot, but you will be surprised at how you could learn it all in three minutes. Whether you want to have your bacon-wrapped scallops as an appetizer or as the main meal, you’re about to access the secret.
What are scallops wrapped in bacon called?
This meal will sound like a simple one to cook, but that doesn’t reflect its costs in restaurants. In fact, you will be charged more for a meal that includes amuse-bouche (as they refer to bacon-wrapped scallops).
The name is the equivalent of “tickle the mouth.” This tells us why these amuse-bouche are primarily appetizers, meant to tease your taste glands in anticipation of another meal.
- How to store cooked bacon
How to cook bacon wrapped scallops in a pan
Neither scallops nor bacon could taste as good as they taste when brought together. I mean, when you wrap those sea scallops in thin slices of bacon, you’re almost always about to make the sweetest treat with so little effort.
When correctly done, which takes about four minutes, the result is crispy, golden-brown crust, covering a sweet and tender scallop. If you want to take the surprise further, you could glaze or have the amuse-bouche with a creamy sauce.
Since we talked about simple preparation, we will start with the simplest cooking method- searing on a pan or a skillet.
- Wash the scallops, rinse them and place them over a dry paper or kitchen towel.
- Apply seasoning on the entire surface of the scallops. Although you can use whichever combination that tastes best to you, the most common are powdered garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, and butter.
- Cut pieces of bacon, just enough to wrap around each scallop. Once dressed, secure the bacon slice with a toothpick so it doesn’t unwrap when cooking.
- Heat your pan or skillet to medium heat over the stove. This should be slightly over 120 degrees Celsius. Olive oil tends to emphasize the bacon-scallops flavor. Warm it for 40 seconds over the pan.
- Adjust the heat to medium-high, which should be slightly over 150 degrees Celsius.
- Cook for four minutes. this is enough time for the bacon to cook through and form a golden-brown crust without undercooking the scallops.
- Flip the scallops and again cook for four minutes.
- As you cook, you can brush over the surface of the scallops with a butter garlic sauce to give the scallops some extra oomph!
- Remove the scallops and let them cool for between five and ten minutes.
How to cook bacon wrapped scallops in the oven
You could choose to cook your scallops in the oven. One quick way of achieving this would be cooking under the broiler. This method would have them ready in between 10 and 15 minutes, and you would need to turn the scallops midway through cooking.
- Rinse your scallops, drain excess water, and place over a paper towel or a kitchen towel.
- Turn the oven on set to the broil setting, and heat to about 175 degrees Celsius.
- Wrap each of the scallops in a thin bacon slice. Secure the bacon slice with a toothpick
- Squeeze half a lemon over the scallops and place them over a cookie sheet. Sprinkle some salt and garlic powder.
- Spray the cookie sheet with pan spray and place the scallops (still on the cookie sheet) over a sheet tray.
- Bake for five minutes and turn the scallops. Bake again for up to seven minutes, or until the bacon turns brown and crispy.
- Remove the treats and wait for the meal to cool down.
- Lightly squeeze a lemon over the scallops and drizzle butter sauce, and serve.
Tips for cooking bacon-wrapped scallops
Whereas cooking bacon-wrapped scallops sound easy, you can easily mess things up if you don’t really know the finer details. Try the following tips to better your bacon-wrapped scallops skills.
Type of scallop
There are two types of scallops; sea and bay scallops. Bay scallops are smaller in size compared to bay scallops. This makes sea scallops the ideal size for wrapping with bacon. Furthermore, smaller (bay) scallops are very prone to overcooking by the time the bacon browns.
Again, there are wild and farm-raised scallops. The main difference is nutrition and taste. Wild scallops are more nutritious but are a little short of flavor compared to farm-raised scallops.
If you are shopping around for scallops, you’re going to find them either dry-packed or wet-packed. To make them wet, the scallops are usually injected with a phosphate solution. This solution accounts for around 30% of the weight, which you don’t really need.
While dry scallops are more pinkish, wet scallops tend to be whiter. The wet scallops also release a lot of moisture when left still.
Size of the scallop
Both types of scallops, sea, and bay scallops, vary in size. Go for scallops that can give you between 10and 12 cuts per pound for the ideal size cuts. These counts will be big enough for easier wrapping with bacon and also not prone to overcooking.
Preparing the scallops
Scallops are usually coated by a tough tendon. If cooked, the tendon is chewy and must thus be removed. Peeling off the tendon is as easy as peeling an orange- just peel back!
We all love that crusty finish of pan-seared food (meats). To ensure you don’t end up with a mushy exterior, ensure the scallops are completely dry by wiping them down with a towel before searing.
You cannot buy low-quality bacon and expect it to taste so good with your pricey scallops. Go for premium quality bacon, so you don’t have to throw everything just because of a few dollars.
Also, if you are on a diet, say keto, you can opt for bacon prepared without sugar.
In some instances, you will want to precook the bacon to reduce the risk of overcooking the delicate scallops as you try to brown the bacon.
Bacon slices have to be thin so as to take minimum time to cook.
Bacon-wrapped scallops cook best in high heat. You want to shorten the cooking time, but ensure the bacon is crispy.
If you cook the scallops in a pan, you will precook the bacon strips or slice for about 10 minutes. Remove the stripes from the pan when almost done but still pliable.
If you are cooking the amuse bouche in an oven, you will first place the bacon slices on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Then cook in at 175 degrees Celsius for five minutes. Stop and turn the bacon over and cook for five more minutes. Remove the bacon while still pliable and wrap the scallops.
Cooking fat (oil/butter)
To prevent scallops from sticking on the pan, cook them with a generous amount of oil or butter. You can use the fat that you previously used to precook the bacon or add more butter if you want to. You will also want to be careful with oils used to cook bacon- the bacon flavor could overwhelm your delicate scallops.
Drying the scallops
If you have tasted scallops a couple of times, you know that not all of them taste great. One way of ensuring your scallops char from the pan is patting them dry before searing them on the pan.
How to cook frozen scallops wrapped in bacon
Frozen bacon-wrapped scallops are not a strange thing. After all, freezing is the only way to ensure seafood’s taste and texture lasts beyond 48 hours. When you want to cook the frozen scallops, you may choose to either thaw, then cook, or even cook while frozen.
1. With thawing
- This method calls for 45 minutes of thawing before you can begin cooking.
- Remove the frozen, wrapped scallops and place them on a baking sheet. Ensure to leave some space between adjacent scallops, at least half an inch. Leave the scallops at room temperature for 45 minutes.
- Once thawed, turn the oven on and set it at 175 degrees Celsius.
- Place the baking sheet with the scallops in the middle rack of the oven. Leave to bake for 15 minutes.
- Turn the oven to broiling setting and cook for a further eight minutes, or until the bacon turns crisp.
- Serve while warm
2. Without thawing
You could also cook your scallops while still frozen. The main advantage of this method is the reduced chance of overcooking the scallops. USDA approves cooking frozen food in the frozen state, so long as you increase the cooking time by half.
This is how you cook frozen scallops without thawing:
- Bring the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
- Place the frozen bacon-wrapped scallops on a baking sheet. Place them over a parchment, ensuring to leave some space between the scallops.
- Since you’d need about 10 minutes to cook both sides, you’ll need to bake for about 20 minutes due to the frozen state. this period ensures that the internal temperatures reach at least 145 degrees Celsius.
Also, ensure to turn the scallops midway through cooking to crisp both sides of the bacon.
What to serve with bacon-wrapped scallops
We mentioned that scallops can be an appetizer or a main course. Either way, you can serve the scallops in various manners.
As an appetizer
Broil your bacon-wrapped scallops and serve along with Asian turkey meatballs. You can also serve with roasted artichokes, or if you like, mushrooms.
Amuse bouche pairs perfectly with vegetable recipes. Serve with the likes of roasted asparagus for an all-crispy texture. Brussels sprouts, especially pan-fried, taste as good as sautéed mushrooms when served alongside scallops.
Are you a fan of the classic wedge or the Italian artichoke? Or do you prefer Caprese salad skewers? All these salads go along well with pan-seared or broiled scallops.
There is no better way to serve a delicious steak than first teasing your taste buds with bacon-wrapped scallops. Be it a filet mignon or sirloin steaks, an initial taste of bacon in scallops makes you anticipate even more.
Freequently Ask And Question (FAQs)
Q: What do you eat with bacon-wrapped scallops?
A: Bacon-wrapped scallops can go along with several foods like steaks, salads, vegetable dishes, and as a standalone appetizer.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eOther foods you can eat with bacon-wrapped scallops include mango slices, lemon butter sauce, citrus vinaigrette, warm fruit salsa, linguini and tomatoes, baby potatoes and snap peas, spinach, chard, leeks, and grilled vegetables.
Q: How long should you sear scallops wrapped in bacon?
A: The ideal amount of time to cook scallops in a pan or a skillet is 4 minutes at a temperature of 175 degrees Celsius. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eFrozen scallops require more time to broil, ideally 20 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius. You should, however, be careful with scallops as they easily overcook.
Q: How long should I thaw frozen bacon-wrapped scallops?
A: Just like any other seafood, scallops should be defrosted in the refrigerator overnight. Do not thaw scallops or any seafood at room temperature.
Q: Can I store leftover cooked scallops?
A: You can refrigerate any leftovers, although the taste and texture will significantly differ from when they were cooked fresh.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eWhen reheated, scallops become rubbery. This is not strange as other kinds of seafood have this trait. The secret to not making the scallops chewy is reheating until they’re at the desired serving temperature and no more. Store leftover scallops for a maximum of 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Bacon-wrapped scallops are easy to cook, but a one-step mistake could ruin everything. Fortunately, this guide is all you need to make the best of your scallops. If you have found any other tips, don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comments section.
Rita C. Donnell (Jennifer) has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Readmore