Bacon Wrapped Scallops are on a LOT of starter menus. For good reason. They are delicious! I think Kevin would say that they are his favorite appy. He orders them every time we are out for dinner and they are on the menu.
We have a little restaurant close by our house called Lou’s Bar and Grill. They have a few dishes that I love, but the one that stands out the most is their Bacon Wrapped Scallops. They always come with plenty of sauce and a few slices of crusty toasted bread on the side to scoop up the left over sauce. It is so freeking yum! I will even ditch the gluten free diet on occasion and go for a slice of bread. The sauce is that good!
Debbie and I, being us, had to make a copy cat recipe so that we can have this appy when we are eating or entertaining at home. This recipe is pretty damn close and maybe even slightly better because you can make it with fresh and lower fat ingredients. Of course this just means that you can eat more! Right?
Our sauce is made without heavy cream, but if you want this to be even more rich, add some cream at the end a little at a time. We don’t use cream for this, but Im sure Lou’s does ;)
Scallops on their own arent super flavorful, but they are perfect to have with a bold and flavorful sauce. These little bundles are so tender, but have a little crunch from the salty bacon and a little bite from the spicy, creamy sauce. They really are like a one bite explosion of flavor in your mouth. Feel free to toast up some ciabatta for dipping!
These are really easy to make but they look fantastic and sophisticated if you plate them with a little care. We like to serve them in single serving spoons as you can see in these pictures, and that works great if you are having a party where people are just standing around. However, you could also serve them as a first course at a dinner party with a few on a small plate resting on the sauce.
If you dont have little spoons like this, you could always serve them individually skewered and resting on a plate of sauce. Then people can swish them around in the sauce and pop them in their mouths easy.
One thing about Scallops to remember is that they have a little muscle (also called a beard) that you need to remove before you cook them. Otherwise the muscle gets tough when you cook it. To learn how to do this, check out this youtube video.
- 12 Scallops, fresh or frozen
- 12 strips of bacon
- 12 toothpicks
- Chives for garnish
For the Sauce:
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ medium Onion finely chopped
- 3 – 4 cloves Garlic
- 2 Tomatoes chopped
- 2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
- ¼ cup Cream Cheese ( I like the light Chive and Onion one)
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan Cheese (not grated like the Kraft kind)
- ¼ - ½ cup Chicken Stock (or Veg Stock)
- 3 - 4 tbsp. heavy cream (optional)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- If your scallops are frozen, thaw them by putting the package in cold water. They will thaw pretty quickly.
- Heat your oven to 450 degrees.
- Make sure to remove the beard or little muscle on each scallop if there is one. Read the post above to learn how.
- In the meantime, heat up a skillet and cook the strips of bacon only part way done. You can do this in the oven too if you like.
- To assemble, wrap a piece of bacon around each scallop and secure with a toothpick. Place on a parchment lined baking tray.
- Drizzle with olive oil if desired and place in the hot oven for 3 - 4 mins and then flip them and cook for another 3 - 4 mins depending on the size of the scallop.
- Remove from the oven and arrange on a serving platter with the sauce.
For the Sauce:
- Heat Oil in a small pot. When its hot, throw in the Onions and sauté for a few minutes. Then add the Garlic and the Tomatoes. Cook these for a bit until the Tomatoes just melt into a sauce.
- Add the Cajun Seasoning and the Cream Cheese and stir till the Cheese melts. Add ½ cup of the Chicken or Veg stock. Then add the Parmesan Cheese and stir till it melts. It might get stringy, but just keep cooking it. It will melt into the sauce.
- Puree the sauce with a hand held blender or in your blender until its very smooth and put it back into the pot.
- Add a bit more Stock until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. Salt and Pepper to taste and your good to go.