Pan Seared Scallops with Bacon and Spinach

Good morning from beautiful Pensacola Florida!

Well fishing season is officially upon us, whoot whoot!!  So please be prepared for the fabulous recipes using fresh yellowfin tuna, blue wahoo and much more.  It won’t get much better than this ladies and gents.  I may even venture out on writing a blog on some of the best fishing gear and fashions while out on the open water.  So keep an eye out.

In my hometown, Scallop season is going to open up in about a month an a half which means some really yummy scallop recipes are about to head your way.  To start the Scallop trend here is a recipe for pan seared scallops with bacon and spinach.

Pan-Seared Scallops with Bacon and Spinach

3 center-cut bacon slices
1 1/2 pounds jumbo sea scallops (about 12)
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, sliced
12 ounces fresh baby spinach
4 lemon wedges (optional)

1.  Cook bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; coarsely chop and set bacon aside.  Increase heat to high.
2.  Pat scallops dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle scallops evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Add scallops to drippings in pan; cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until done.  Transfer to a plate; keep warm.  Reduce heat to medium-high.  Add onion and garlic to pan; saute 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add half of spinach; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Add remaining half of spinach; cook 2 minutes or just until wilted, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Divide spinach mixture among 4 plates; top each serving evenly with crumbled bacon and 3 scallops. Serve immediately with lemon wedges, if desired.

I highly encourage the lemon wedges being added to this fabulous recipe.  Freshly squeezed lemons just add a little zest to fresh seafood.

xoxo, h


Cheddar Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta

1 pound mostacciloi or other short pasta
6 strips of bacon, diced
1 tablespoon butter
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 packet ranch dressing mix
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water; drain, return to pot, and keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Drain all but one tablespoon of bacon drippings from the pan.
3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the reserved bacon drippings, then add the chicken to the same skillet. Cook until tender, no longer pink, and slightly browned.
4. Sprinkle the flour and ranch dressing mix over the chicken, stirring to coat evenly. Stir in the milk, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cheddar cheese and half of the reserved bacon; cook and stir until the cheese is melted. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
5. Add the cheese sauce to the reserved pasta and stir to combine. Serve each plate of pasta with more bacon sprinkled over the top. Green onions would also be a delicious topping.