I feel bad that we are constantly telling you all that "This is the best recipe ever" but if I had to actually pick one off our site to try, as of today this would be it. Most of our recipes combine simple ingredients for clean flavor profiles and healthy meals. Not this one.
This dish is nothing but decadence and flavor (despite the lack of health benefits). Scallops are bathed in bacon fat and bourbon with green apples and thick cut bacon adding a textural dimension and sweetness to the scallops. Salty and sweet while unbelievably savory, this dish reminds me of everything good in the culinary world. The daikon radish sprouts might seem like they are not a necessity, but they really do make this dish pop with a bright green element that both looks fantastic and really gives a great platform for the sweet and salty flavors to shine.
Start by taking your bacon and trimming off all the fat. What you want here is just the dark meaty part of the bacon. Set aside the fat for now, do NOT discard it, and mince up your bacon meat into tiny pieces. Cut your apple into very thin slices and mince it up as well. We are looking for small cubes that are about 1cm/1cm in dimensions and are about the same size as the bacon. Combine together in a pan with 1-2tbsp of butter and turn the heat to medium high.
While that begins to sizzle, take the remaining bacon fat and place it in another skillet with the remaining 2 tbsp of butter and turn it to medium. We want to extol all of the fat from these bacon pieces and use it as the base for searing our scallops. When the fat has nearly all been rendered out and your bacon starts to look more like a lardon, turn the stove to high heat and move all the bacon to one side of the skillet and with the oil on the other side add the scallops.
Those scallops will need about 1 minute on each side so in the meantime, your other skillet should be sizzling and the bacon and apples should be nicely browned. Add in your bourbon and maple syrup to the bacon/apple compote and move the temperature to high heat to reduce down. Keep moving the skillet around so the mixture spreads nicely and the liquid reduces evenly to create a thick almost caramel-like sauce.
Flip the scallops at this point and using a large spoon, baste (or repeatedly pour bacon/butter oil on them) the tops of the scallops as the bottoms cook. This will impart some incredible bacon flavor and keep the scallops full of flavor as the seconds half cooks. When they are done, remove from the heat immediately.
Plate a small amount of the radish sprout heads on each serving plate and then gently lay down the scallops using tongs. Make sure the compote is reduced by at least half, leaving a syrupy and thick sauce engulfing the bacon and apple bits. Use the same spoon you used for basting to delicately add the compote on top of the scallops in even portions across all the scallops (feel free to give yourself a little more, I mean, you DID cook it). Once they are all plated, add a little fresh cracked pepper or regular black pepper on top of each. Serve immediately and pair with champagne, Riesling, or Chenin Blanc and enjoy this delicacy!