The MOM 100 Blog
I want to come clean about something right away. This meal would NOT fly with everyone in my house, namely Charlie who just plain hates scallops. He hates scallops so much that about a year ago he asked me if I would only make scallops when he was out of the house, not only for the evening, but for the whole night, so he wouldn’t ever have to smell them. Now that’s a hatred of scallops.
Gary on the other hand counts scallops amongst his very favorite foods, so I am not going to axe them from the list of menu items, though I try to be respectful of Charlie’s extreme aversion. It’s the only food I can think of that causes such a reaction, so I am willing to play along, though I hope he changes his mind at some point.
And the good news is that this glaze is lovely on chicken, cod, salmon, and pork as well. The tanginess of the balsamic vinegar plays very well against the sharpness of the mustard and the sweetness of the brown sugar. Little slivers of pancetta interspersed between the scallops add such a sly little salty hit (and regular bacon can certainly be substituted. Serve with Pasta with Ramps, Edamame, and Sugar Snap Peas in a Light Parmesan Cream Sauce for a very beautiful and sophisticated dinner.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons brown sugar, light or dark
Kosher salt and finely ground pepper to taste
1 pound sea scallops
2 ounces pancetta, thickly sliced, then sliced crosswise into ½ inch pieces
- Soak about 10 8 to 12-inch wooden skewers in water to cover for at least 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl or plastic container, mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, brown sugar, and salt and pepper until well blended. Add scallops and gently toss in the mixture to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
- Preheat the broiler or grill. Skewer the scallops, and pancetta pieces, dividing them evenly between the skewers, and using two skewers for every two or three scallops (using two skewers keeps the scallops skewered more securely). Discard any remaining marinade. Broil or grill for about 3 minutes on each side, until they are just cooked throughout.
Pancetta is cousin of bacon, but instad of being smoked it is unsmoked pork belly that is cured in various salt and spices and then dried for a few months. It's sometimes available in rolled form, and sometimes as slabs. Either one works in this case, and the way it's cut isn't a big deal - just cut little pieces that can fit on the skewers between the scallops.