Friday, April 17, 2009


serves four

12 large fresh sea scallops (12 to 14 ounces total), small tough muscles removed
6 thin or regular smoked bacon slices (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 ounces uncooked), cut crosswise in half
1 large celery root (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into small chunks
about 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream, heated
coarse (kosher) salt and freshly ground pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup vegetable broth
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup nonpareil capers
all-purpose flour for dredging
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped

Wrap each scallop in a piece of bacon one and a half wraps, from bottom to top to bottom, trimming off any excess. It is not necessary to secure the bacon with toothpicks. Set aside in a pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and chill while preparing the celery root.

In a saucepan, cover the celery root with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain off the water and return the pan with the celery root to medium heat. Continue to briefly cook the celery root, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until all the water has evaporated.

While the celery root is still hot, run it through a food mill, ricer, or food processor. Add enough hot cream to reach a creamy consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. To keep the purée warm, spoon it into the top pan of a double boiler over simmering water.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the lemon juice and whisk in the butter. When the butter is blended, bring the sauce just to a boil. Remove from heat, and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Quickly dredge the capers in flour, shaking off any excess. Fry the capers until lightly browned and crispy, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel to drain.

In the same sauté pan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Using tongs, sear the scallops on all sides, starting with the bottom, until the bacon is golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes.

To serve, spoon the celery root purée in the middle of 4 plates, dividing equally. Place 3 scallops on each plate. Spoon a little sauce around the scallops. Garnish with chopped parsley and fried capers and serve immediately.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Everything Tastes Better with Bacon by Sara Perry. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2002, pp. 99-100

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