Seared Scallops with Bacon, Pepper and Chimichurri Relish (Paleo!)

It is hot, hot… HOT these days. Thank goodness for a grill, because I will NOT be turning on my oven these days.

I had off all last week! It started out as a 4th of July beach vacay with some fam/friends, and then ended as a staycation where I planned to clean, get up to speed on laundry, clean my daily diet back up and drink more water.

I did none of those things.

But I’m fine with that…. Trying to be nicer to myself for just living life. Especially since the latest new moon in Cancer has rolled around. This one is all about relationships – relationships with yourself, with others – significant others, close friends. This past Friday was a great opportunity to “press the restart button” – to really just start back to the good energy that healthy relationships start with. Since Cancer, being a water sign (a crab!), is associated with fluidity, emotions, intuition – all things that are dynamic and often change. Taking this time to be more gentle with yourself and with your relationships, allowing things to move slow and at whatever pace they need to.

Speaking of patience, remember how I said I have been cooking on the grill? Yeah. I hate that you can’t see what’s inside the grill. Plus, I used a Himalayan salt block to grill my scallops, preheating it to about 600 degrees before grilling the scallops… it takes a good 20-30 minutes to slow-heat the salt block to just the right temperature. Having said that, the scallops ended up lightly seared, and over a bed of delicious peppers, onions, bacon and chimichurri sauce.

No need for a fancy salt block though – pan searing in a butter/olive oil mixture will do just fine! This is a multi-step dinner, so definitely not ideal for a weeknight… but I promise it’s worth it.

Seared Scallops with Bacon, Pepper and Chimichurri Relish (Paleo!)

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Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 15 min

Ingredients

  • 1 lb U12 (big) sea scallops, dry and trimmed
  • 2 cups (2-3 ears) cooked fresh sweet corn; canned will work if fresh isn’t available
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 of a large yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup chimichurri sauce
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 large tbsp block of butter (a little thicker… like 1.5 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Some prep-work first… if you do not have it already prepared, put together your chimichurri sauce.
  2. Next, if not starting with bacon that you’ve already cooked – cook in oven or pan until well done and quite crisp.. it should be easily crumbled. Set aside to cool if not already cooked so that you can crumble or chop it finely.
  3. Now, in a large skillet, add your onion and preferred cooking oil over medium heat. Sauté until starting to become translucent – about 4-5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and add your bell pepper and garlic, lightly seasoning again with a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Next, add your corn. Continue sautéing, turning the heat lower if onion cooks too quickly, until corn starts to brown. Check for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Add your bacon crumbles in, occasionally stirring, allowing the flavors to meld. Once everything is browned, after another 2-3 minutes, turn to low and move to back burner to keep warm.
  6. In a separate, heavy bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron), heat your pan over medium high to high heat. Add your butter and grapeseed oil, and heat until shimmering. (a note – this will produce SOME smoke, as grapeseed oil has a much higher burn temp than others but the butter is included for some flavor – either open your windows or turn your range vent on!)
  7. Once at temperature, add your scallops. Season with salt and pepper. Let them sit, and do not touch them as they cook – I don’t actually know why, but I’ve been told this is the only way. Sear for 2 ish minutes, and turn once they are golden brown. Dash them again with a pinch of salt and pepper, and allow them to brown for another minute on the other side. Less time is needed, as the internal temp is already warmed and the surface will crisp more quickly than the prior side. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
  8. Plate your pepper corn bacon relish, placing your scallops overtop. Drizzle with chimichurri sauce, and enjoy!

-S

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