I think seafood and pork make the ultimate surf-and-turf. In this case, it’s bacon with big tender sea scallops, often found on The Compound’s menu. True diver scallops are hand-harvested. You may not find them in your local supermarket, but do try to find “dry-pack” scallops, ones that haven’t been injected with a watery preservative. I sometimes add a third scallop per serving and make this an entrée.
2 pounds parsnips, peeled
½ stick butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup chicken stock
Brussels Sprouts and Scallops
1 pound whole fresh Brussels sprouts
¼ pound thick-cut bacon, finely diced
8 large diver scallops
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh green herbs, either flat-leaf parsley or basil or a combination
For parsnip purée
Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Peel the parsnips, cut into small pieces. Blanch until soft, approximately 20 minutes. Drain. While still hot, transfer parsnips to food processor, and add butter and chicken stock. Purée until smooth, then season with salt and pepper. Keep warm. (Purée can be done ahead of time and reheated.)
For Brussels sprouts and scallops
Trim ends off of Brussels sprouts, then score with a deep ‘X’ through bottom and peel off layers of leaves. Fry bacon in a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat until almost crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain. Reserve bacon fat.
Season scallops to taste with salt and pepper. Warm large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter, and swirl until foamy. Sear scallops on both sides, about 2 minutes per side, until they are browned on surfaces and just translucent. Do not overcook. Remove and keep warm. To same pan, add reserved bacon fat, cooked bacon, shallot and garlic and cook until heated through, about 30 seconds. Stir in Brussels sprouts leaves and continue to sauté until just soft and wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. (If mixture seems especially dry, you can add another dollop of oil or a small knob of butter.) Fold in herbs and remove from heat.
Spoon equal portions of parsnip puree across each plate. Layer portions of Brussels sprouts-bacon mixture over and around puree. Top each with 2 seared scallops. Serve right away.