I picked up these bay scallops when they went on sale at my local supermarket. When I got them home, I noticed they were described on the deli sticker as being “diver caught”. That got me to thinking, its somebody’s career to dive into bays and collect scallops for us to eat. So much goes on behind the scenes of our food production process that most of us don’t have a clue about. I’m grateful for those divers, anyway, because these scallops were delicious.
Turns out that Diver Caught Bay Scallops are the most ecologically friendly you can purchase, as they grow and mature quickly, and the “hand picking” method causes very little habitat damage. That little tid-bit makes them all the more enjoyable for me.
Bay Scallops with Snap Peas and Bacon
- 3/4-1 lb Diver Caught Bay Scallops
- 1/2 lb sugar snap peas
- 1/2 tbs rendered pork fat (pastured) or coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 slices bacon
- juice of one orange, plus the zest
- 1.5 tsp balsalmic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp each chili powder and paprika
- sea salt/pepper
Dice bacon and add to hot pan, cooking until slightly crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add peas and a sprinkle of salt to the pan and cook in the bacon fat until tender (about 8 minutes) adding garlic and orange zest in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Mix in cooked bacon, then remove mixture from pan and set aside, covered to keep warm. Add rendered pork fat/coconut oil to pan. Bring to medium high heat. Sprinkle scallops with salt, pepper, and paprika and add to hot pan, working in two batches if needed (don’t overcrowd them in the pan). Cook for 1-2 minutes per side, being careful not to overcook scallops. They are done when they turn from translucent to milky white. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm.
Add orange juice, balsalmic vinegar, salt, pepper, and chili powder to pan. Stir and reduce until you achieve a thick sauce (you can add a few chili flakes if you like it spicy). Drizzle over peas and scallops and dive in!
note: always use organic oranges when zesting the skin
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.