This recipe holds a special place in my heart because I adapted it from a favorite dish at Morton’s where I met my husband while he was working as a college student. The secret’s in the sauce, as they say, and the marriage of apricot +cracked pepper + horseradish is almost as good as the one it inspired. Bacon wrapped scallops are nothing new, but it’s the chutney that does it for me. We enjoy this simple mouthful as an appetizer or alongside a hearty salad for dinner.
There are many apricot jams out there, but Smuckers won out with the texture that works best for this recipe. Though I’ve tried to take the easy route, I have finally concluded [and reluctantly accepted] that it’s best to partially cook the bacon in advance. You do not want its desired crispiness to dictate how long your delicate scallops will be cooked – overcooking will turn them to rubber. I recommend baking the bacon at 400 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes [and allow to cool] before wrapping a slice around each scallop and securing with a skewer. Cook time varies depending on the size of the scallops, and if I’m feeling decadent I baste them with melted butter before sliding under the broiler.
2 lbs fresh sea scallops
1 package thick bacon- I use Neiman Ranch
2/3 cup apricot preserves
1 generous tsp. whole black peppercorns [I use tellicherry] coarsely crushed in a ziplock baggie with a meat tenderizer or the bottom of a skillet
1/3 cup prepared horseradish- after measuring, wrap in a doubled paper towel and squeeze over sink to drain liquid
Wrap partially cooked bacon around scallop and thread approximately 3 onto each skewer allowing space between each. I use metal skewers - remember to soak skewers in water if using bamboo. Broil in oven until golden brown and no longer translucent inside, 4-5 minutes per side. Slide from skewers onto plate and serve with apricot chutney. To make the chutney – just mix the preserves, crushed pepper and drained horseradish together in small bowl.