Friday, May 13, 2011

Seared Scallops with Bacon Braised Chard

The fabulous Domestic Diva is back with another of her healthy farm to table recipes. I spent quite a bit of time with her last week between our time at Camp Blogaway and hitting some fab restaurants while I was in LA, it was a foodie and food blogger's dream. Don't forget to check out her blog Domestic Divas and her articles on West Hollywood Patch after you drool over this recipe.

Braising anything with bacon just sounds sinful, doesn't it?

Even something disgustingly healthy like chard.

However, we all need a little bacon in our lives from time to time. Otherwise it's like going through life with lumps of coal in your stocking and sugar-free, fat free ice cream in your freezer.

I'm shuddering right now as I type this, and you're probably shaking your fist angrily at the sky and shouting, "They make sugar-free, fat-free ice cream? What kind of world are we living in!" A Skinny Cow world, but I digress with my existential bacon musings...

For somebody like me who doesn't have a massive sweet tooth, bacon is my ice cream. It's the icing on my cake. The guilty pleasure food that makes everything better (even ice cream, if you can believe it). It lifts my spirits, wakes up my taste buds, makes me mumble, "Nom-Nom" in pleasure as I eat it. Don't believe me? Just check out my posts on the Zingerman's Bacon of the Month Club, of which I was a very proud member.

So the second I laid my eyes on Top Chef Winner Stephanie Izard's recipe for Seared Scallops with Bacon Braised Chard in Food & Wine Magazine, I knew I had to try it. Not only are scallops and bacon a classic pairing, but braising the chard with the bacon sounded like a gastronomic experiment worth undertaking. Because without bacon, where would we be?

That's right, crying over the lumps of coal in our collective stockings while downing gallons of sugar-free, fat-free ice cream.

Seared Scallops with Bacon Braised Chard
Adapted from Stephanie Izard's recipe in Food & Wine
Serves 4 people
Cooking time: about 30 minutes

3 thick slices of bacon, cut into lardons
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1 3/4 pounds rainbow chard—stems sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick, leaves cut into 1-inch strips
2 teaspoons soy sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper
12 large sea scallops
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon butter

1. In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.
2. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened. Add the garlic and stir until tender but not browned, 2 minutes. Add the tomato and cook until it begins to break down about 2 minutes. Add the chard stems and cook until tender Add the chard leaves and cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until wilted.
3. Add the soy sauce and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
4. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. In another large skillet, heat the oil until just smoking.
5. Add the scallops and cook over high heat for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes.
6. Turn the scallops and add the butter. Cook, spooning the butter on the scallops, until just white throughout, about 3 minutes.
7. Spoon the chard onto plates, top with the scallops. Enjoy!

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