Bacon-wrapped Scallops and Shrimp
Wine - whatever you like to have with seafood, the bacon makes it a little heavier than normal
Toothpicks soaked in water for 30 minutes or so
Bacon - preferably center cut. Being shorter, they are ideal length when cut in half crosswise
Shrimp - peeled, deveined, tails still on. plan 5 per person
Sea scallops - ask for similarly sized ones; avoid the yellowish ones (no I don't mean bay scallops), plan 5 per person
(Note: amounts listed below were for 10 scallops and 10 shrimpers, serving approx. 2)
1) pour wine into glasses for self and guest(s). sip repeatedly.
2) finely dice garlic and shallot. About a rounded teaspoon of each will do.
3) place garlic and shallot in a microwavable container large enough to hold about a cup or more
4) grind about a half teaspoon or more of peppercorns into garlic and shallot mix
5) add juice of one lemon to mix and roughly half teaspoon each of dill and parsley
6) add butter to mix. I used roughly 4 tablespoons to baste 20 pieces and had plenty leftover
7) nuke. you're melting the butter primarily but also cooking the flavors together. don't scorch. I made the baste about an hour before hand and nuked for 20 seconds periodically to mingle flavors more.
8) while baste is mingling, start your shrimp and scallops thawing, I like to cover them all in cold water and let sit. don't change the water until almost ready to cook, as you want them to thaw in the coldest water possible. Get your broiler or grill going. And isn't broiling just grilling upside down?
9) if not already done, peel and devein shrimp. leave tails intact. place on paper towels, cover with paper towels, blot dry.
10) rinse scallops repeatedly to remove any sand. remove the muscle. the muscle is a small part of meat on the side of the scallop that will look/feel slightly different than the other flesh. just feel/eyeball it. if nothing seems different, the muscle may already be gone. place scallops on paper towels, cover with more, blot dry.
11) now the fun part. slice the bacon in half crosswise. if using center cut, this will yield bacon pieces roughly 3 inches long.
12) grab those toothpicks you've been soaking in water so they won't burn. grab a half slice of bacon. grab a scallop. wrap bacon around scallop. I chose to wrap the bacon around the flat surfaces of the scallop, i.e., the 'top and bottom' of the scallop, instead of wrapping it around it like one would wrap a filet of beef or tenderloin.
13) use a toothpick to secure the bacon. I did not pierce the meat of the seafood. Just try to go thru a meaty part of the loose end of bacon and into another meaty part that is under a wrapped part to anchor it. I was concerned about the slippery bacon coming loose when I turned it during cooking, but out of 20 pieces, that only happened with one. wrap all scallops.
14) Now, the shrimp. Start at the thicker end and wrap towards tail. Use a toothpick to secure the bacon similar to how you did the scallops. It's not rocket science, just use your mad kitchen skillz.
15) Prepare for cooking. I used a broiler since my grill was destroyed. Using a baking pan with a raised wire tray sprayed with Pam, plop all that seafood on the grate. Here's a pick of what they looked like before being basted:
16) brush the butter mixture over each
17) place under broiler. wait roughly 4-5 minutes. cooking times will vary of course. bacon was bubbly and crisped on edges when I turned it.
18) remove pan; turn items and brush more butter mixture on. return to broiler for roughly 4-5 minutes, until bacon is bubbly and crisped again. seafood will all appear cooked. scallops will be white, shrimp will be opaque and the tail shell will be pinked.
19) check for doneness if you're not sure by cutting in to a larger piece. See pic below for visual aid on what they look like when done.
20) divy up on plates. squeeze fresh lemon juice over. enjoy.