Succulent, delicate and meaty scallops are transformed into little pieces of candy, seared and glazed, then served up with savory Carolina rice and quick cooking collards and bacon. There is just no telling how you'll ever save any for leftovers.
As part of my weekly summer recipe series, I'm really excited to share this recipe with you!
I don't suspect many of you will be heading out scalloping after reading this post, unless you have a giant boat made for scalloping, so maybe this isn't necessarily a "catch and cook" type of recipe, but more so a recipe to enjoy a locally caught and in season delicacy to support your local fishermen.
We have so many scalloper boats here on Cape Cod, and just like oysters, chances are the sea scallops you buy from the fish market were caught in these waters.
This recipe uses sea scallops which are generally much larger than the little bay scallops. The ones I used in these pictures were on the smaller side, but they are still sea scallops. For this recipe, make sure to purchase the sea scallops so you can get a nice big sear on each side.
This recipe is inspired by one of my favorite restaurants in Greer, South Carolina called the Bin 112, which served up a dish called Candy of the Sea, that was scallops seared and glazed in sweet chili sauce, served with Carolina rice and slow cooked collards.
Holy moly, that dish stuck with me, along with many other recipes from there, but that one, I crave. They closed down in 2018, so now I am personally tasked with recreating all of my favorite dishes from the Bin just so I can satisfy these crazy cravings.
Quick Cooking Collards with Bacon
If ya'll didn't already know, my parents live in South Carolina and for as long as I can remember, I have been a die-hard fan of all things southern - BBQ, hush puppies, okra, tomato pie, Waffle House, and of course, collards.
Traditionally, collards are slow cooked for hours then garnished at the end with vinegar, usually served up with something like beans, cornbread and a pork chop. Sounds wonderful right? It is, except these days not many people have hours to kill waiting for collards to cook.
In this recipe, I sauté garlic and onion, then add in the coarsely chopped collards, crumbled bacon, broth, salt and pepper, and let that slowly simmer for about 30 minutes. Then I take a strainer and separate the juice from the collards, and mix it all together with Carolina rice, to create a pillowy bed for some sweet and savory scallops.
Once the rice is done, it's time to pan sear the scallops, which takes less than 10 minutes...but there is a trick.
How to Pan Sear Scallops
When searing scallops, or anything for that matter, rule #1 is always not touch it until it's time to flip it. Seriously, don't move it around in the pan or pick it up to check the sear situation, just leave it. This will give it a beautiful sear.
Pat each scallop dry with a paper towel, then lightly season them with salt and pepper.
Heat a pan over medium-high and melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter into the pan. Once the butter melts, turn the heat down to medium.
The general rule of thumb is 2-3 minutes per side, and they'll be done when they turn white and feel firm. (Remember, don't touch them until you're ready to flip them!)
It's as close as I'm going to get to the Bin 112 dish that I miss so dearly. The salty and slightly bitter taste of the collards and bacon paired with the juicy, sweet scallops certainly do the trick!
You can check out the recipe below or click here to print! This recipe is intended to serve four people, probably with some leftover rice and collards. Enjoy!
Through the eyes of a fishermans’ wife, I’m excited to share my cooking and photography with you here on MFCC. You can learn more about cooking, and get more recipes by visiting my website Creatively Delish.