Friday, December 2, 2011

Maple Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops


Note:  
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Ireland  definitely inspires one to sample the delicious seafood that comes from this country surrounded by the sea.  


Sea scallops wrapped in maple bacon are a delicious pairing of briny sea delicacies with hints of caramelized maple syrup flavored bacon.  


These are a dish my son fell in love with at my sister's wedding a few years ago.





Scallop appetizers were served after her wedding.  Trays of them swept in and out of the guests.  Every time I looked at my son, he had one in hand and was beaming with delight.


"Mom,  you just have to make these!" he whispered to me at the ceremony.   "They are the best thing I have ever tasted."


I don't know how many of them he speared with his toothpick that day.  I would probably be embarrassed to know.  I do know he has been asking me to "make them" for several years now.  






Seafood, and most certainly shellfish, are some of the inspiring  options on many of the menus in Ireland.  Just looking at the marvelous seascapes induces an appetite to sample the many delectable seafood choices on many Irish menus.








If you are following along our travelogue through Ireland, you can click here to go to the beginning of this most wonderful and delightful trip that began with a stopover in London.

Our last couple of days were filled with wondrous scenic drives.  We drove all along the very edge of the Dingle Peninsula.  These must be some of the remotest country landscapes in Ireland.




Most of the roads were completely empty and we couldn't help but feel as if were the first family to lay eyes on the seascapes ahead of us.  How silly, really.  But how inspiring to imagine!


Every now and then, a small graveyard would appear ~ it's Celtic stones all knobbly and skewed.




One thing we loved about Ireland was the constant change in weather patterns throughout the day.  One minute the skies were broody and heavy and the next minute a piercing ray of sunlight would break through and cast a spotlight of illumination on some distant hillside.





The sheep laying about all over the  lush green fields looked like something out of children's story books.  They layed about lazily chewing on grass as if they were only slightly perturbed by our curiosity.


Knarled vines of wild berries were all over the peninsula. The lovely little morsels daintily ornamented  the husky green leaves enveloping them.








As I gayly leaped out of the car as we spotted "yet another" striking rainbow dominating the horizon, I detected a bit of "ho hum" attitude from the other three in the car.

"You go out, Mom"  they sighed.  "We'll wait for you in the car.  We've seen so many rainbows..." 

"Hmpf!"  I noted but giddily made my way out of the car and onto the quiet slopes of the undulating hills to unfailingly take in this pleasurable sight.




We left the Dingle Peninsula and decided to take a "barely there route" that crossed through the Killarney National Forest.  The route was not mentioned in my Karen Brown Guide book.  However, it ended up being one of the most beautiful drives we have ever seen.

For about 3 hours we drove in complete isolation from humanity.  The occasional farm could be seen in the distance but it was mainly goats, sheep, and waterfall after waterfall.




Drizzle fell from the sky and created a lovely haziness over all of the fields, streams, and hills.  We munched on Irish cookies that we picked up that morning and snuggled in to watch this enchanting scenery swirl by.

Not being used to seeing anyone at this point, we hardly noticed when a woman up the road a bit waved her arms wildly at us.


A bevy of cows were hurtling down the tiny "golf cart path" size road coming directly towards our car.


We skittered to a stop, stared wide-eyed at this unexpected display, waited breathlessly for all of the cattle to be herded off the road by her husband and then scooted off again looking at each other with incredulity and amusement.  





As we made our way back to Dingle, filled with more inspiring scenic views than we had hoped, we decided to stop at Torc Waterfall.

Not to be missed, this waterfall is magnificent.  The trail leading to the waterfall is magical, lush, and green.  


The tree {above, bottom, right} reminded us of the Whomping Willow from Harry Potter.  We could imagine its thick limbs flailing wildly!




We spent several hours here, just listening to the powerful rush of the waterfall, feeling the blowing spray of mist, and the watching the swishing of the forest tree branches as the wind blew mightily.


What a powerful and majestic send off on our last day in Ireland.  Since returning, we have enjoyed learning more about the history of this emerald country;  it has certainly not been strangers to hardship and heartache.  


However, it is clear that the many struggles that required defending  this beloved land were certainly worth each and every triumph gained towards renewed tranquility for this quiet, lovely, and beloved country.


Maple Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops
Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 20 min


Ingredients:
Scallops:
1 1/2 pounds scallops, rinsed and dried
3/4 to 1 pound thin {Snippet's Notes:  do not use thick bacon because the scallops will cook faster than the bacon} sliced maple bacon (not center cut), strips cut in half crosswise
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


Directions:


1. Prepare the scallops: Preheat your oven broiler. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Wrap each scallop with a piece of bacon and secure with a wooden toothpick. 


2. Place the bacon-wrapped scallops onto the prepared baking sheet and season them with salt and pepper. Cook them under the broiler for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bacon is cooked through- turning once mid-way through.


{Snippet's Note:  if you would like these for dinner, purchase the larger scallops, but for an appetizer, the medium size scallops are better}








23 comments:

  1. I can certainly see why your son fell in love with this scallop dish. They look sensational!

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  2. I love sea scallops, but my husband can't stand them. It's kind of like the lasagna situation over at your house. Guess I'll just have to make your delicious bacon-wrapped scallops for myself!:)

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  3. My daughter would love these as much as your son, I will make them for her this holiday season. I absolutely love your juxtaposition of the Irish gent in his cap and the sheep (ram?)

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  4. Sarah, Your beautiful photos are making me more and more determined to go to Ireland next year. Fingers crossed!
    And the scallops look delish! I've had prawns wrapped in bacon and loved them, but scallops? That's new for me. I bet they are so moist and good.
    Have a great weekend!
    -E

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  5. This post is absolutely beautiful! Not only can I not wait to make these, but I am going to go re-read it.

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  6. That dish is amazing. Again gorgeous pictures. You capture everything so well.

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  7. The way I fell in love with the pictures you posted is exactly the same way I will fall in love with your seafood dish. Just what my husband has been nagging me to make. Thanks for the very lovely post!

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  8. what a delicious sounding (and looking!) recipe! Im going to grab a coffee and read more, so glad i found your blog :) Belle

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  9. Sarah, your pictures are just beautiful! And the scallops wrapped in bacon look delicious and so easy to make. I will definitely be making these!
    xx Sunday

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  10. Your photos make me sigh. Ireland is so beautiful. It is like a place out of a fairytale.

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  11. Simply beautiful photos - such atmosphere - those scallops look divine - in England they call them Devils on Horseback!! I really haven't a clue why!
    mary x

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  12. These look just gorgeous- such restrained elegance. Love the trip through Dingle- we had planned on going last year for our anniversary- I had a romantic dream of us riding horses on the beach together. Sadly it turned out my ex footballer of a husband is too broad for the spry ponies of Ireland to carry. But I'm determined for us to make it there sometime soon.

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  13. WOW! I haven't been to Ireland in a few years, but these photos are so gorgeous I need to plan a trip back! Absolutely gorgeous shots...glad you're having an amazing trip!

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  14. Gorgeous photos. I miss it so badly! Thanks for sharing.

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  15. It looks just as I imagine the most remotest of Irish landscapes would look. Thank-you for taking me along with you for the journey! Beautiful - all of it!

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  16. Those bacon wrapped sea scallops are delicious looking! Would love to make these for a Christmas get together I'm having.Thanks for sharing.
    Your photos of Ireland are absolutely gorgeous!

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  17. I can imagine the sweetness of the scallops and the maple syrup mmmm! This is a beautiful dish, thanks for sharing!

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  18. No wonder he has been asking for several years, and it took you this long to make them?:)
    Beautiful pictures as always. Love the last waterfall!

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  19. What gorgeous photos...I can see why you loved this trip so much! And the scallops would make an amazing holiday appetizer, especially for my bacon obsessed sons :)

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  20. I'm so glad to have discovered your blog. It is just beautiful.

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  21. Fabulous photos and such a way with words! Plus, the scallops look devine. I have never tried them although I have always wanted to...:)

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  22. We're making these tonight for our anniversary dinner. Thank you!! They are our appetizer, main dish, and dessert.

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  23. Thanks! We're having this very dish for our anniversary. It will be our appetizer, main dish, and dessert. Delicious!

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