Seared Sea Scallops with Golden Raisin Puree and Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts

3 | February 12, 2013

Every Valentine’s Day I stay home and cook. Don’t feel sorry for me because I love it. It’s actually a gift. I get cook whatever I choose to and The Husband watches Mia while I belt out some Memphis Minnie or James McMurtry, drink wine, and cook up a storm. This year The Husband will most likely be out of town on the special day so while Mia was taking an extra long nap I took it as a sign from above that this was my Valentine’s Day present and cooked myself up a meal fitting for Cupid himself.

It was three in the afternoon. There was wine. There was scallops. There was silence… and there was one happy mama in sock monkey slippers.

Seared Sea Scallops with Golden Raisin Puree and Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts is a decedent savory sweet combination with layers of elegant  flavors. The sweet and slightly tart golden California Raisins are a perfect contrast to the salty bacon and scallops and make each bite …seriously good.

Seared Sea Scallops with Golden Raisin Puree
and Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts
serves 2

Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts

  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 pound brussles sprouts, halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

Golden Raisin Puree

  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • water

 Crispy Vermicelli Garnish, optional

  • 1/2 cup cooked Rice Vermicelli
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • sea salt

Seared Sea Scallops

  • 6 sea scallops (3 per person)
  • sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, paprika
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

*It’s very important to have everything that will be plated, cooked, and prepared before cooking the scallops. The brussels sprouts and raisin puree can be made up to a day in advance and reheated before serving. If preparing the brussels sprouts in advance, reserve the bacon and add to the sprouts after reheating to maintain it’s crispness.

In a large saute pan over medium-heat, add bacon. Cook stirring occasionally until the fat is rendered out and the bacon is golden and crispy (about 5 minutes). Remove the bacon to a plate and set aside.

To the same saute pan add brussels sprouts, salt, and pepper. Stir to evenly coat and saute for 5 minutes until the sprouts are lightly browned. Add chicken broth, stir, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes until the sprouts are tender, can easily be pierced with a fork, and the broth has evaporated. Add additional chicken broth if the pan becomes dry before the sprouts finish cooking.

Toss the cooked brussels sprouts with 3/4 of the cooked bacon, cover to keep warm, and set aside until ready to serve. The reserved bacon will be used as garnish.

While the sprouts are braising away… Place the raisins in a small sauce pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until the raisins are plump.

Drain the raisins, reserving 1 tablespoon of the cooking liquid. Place the raisins and the cooking liquid in a food processor or high powered blender and puree for 1 minute until completely smooth. Remove the puree from the food processor and set aside.

Rice Vermicelli (sometimes labeled rice sticks) is an Asian rice noodle that can be found in the international aisle of major grocery stores or at specialty markets. Cook according to the package directions or place a handful of rice noodles in a bowl of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes until soft or al dente. Drain and pat completely dry with paper towels. It’s important that the noodles are very dry or else the retained water will cause the hot oil to spatter.

Heat oil in a large saute pan, dutch oven, or wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a small handful (2 large tablespoons) of vermicelli noodles for each garnish. I like to do more than 2 just in case one burns or to snack on while finishing. Once the noodles start to turn golden, carefully flip with a fork or tongs. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until completely golden. Remove the crispy vermicelli noodle stacks to a plate covered with a paper towel to drain. Lightly sprinkle with salt and set aside.

Now that everything is prepped… If present, remove the small side muscle from the scallops (you can also ask your fishmonger to do this) and thoroughly pat dry. And I mean DRY! You’ll get a better sear this way. Sprinkle a good pinch of salt, pepper, and paprika on each scallop, top and bottom.

Heat oil (not olive oil it will burn) in a cast iron or stainless steel pan on high. Once the oil is hot and begins to lightly smoke, place the scallops in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, flip the scallops, then cook for an additional 1.30 to 2 minutes until golden. Immediately, remove the scallops to a plate, turn off the heat, and deglaze the pan with butter.

Time to plate!

How you plate is up to you. You can get as creative as you wish. First, spoon a tablespoon or two of the golden raisin puree onto the plates.

Next, place the scallops (3 to a person) on the plate and drizzle with a spoonful of the melted butter.

To the plate, add the braised brussels sprouts, the reserved bacon, and garnish with crispy vermicelli.

A drop-dead fantastic meal, if I do say so myself. All-in-all this took me 45 to 1 hour to make  (I clean while I cook) and it was worth every second. Happy Valentine’s Day! Cheers!




  • Sharon

    I love this whole thing. Happy Valentine’s day to you, too, and thank you for this recipe!

  • maria s

    Gorgeous. Just gorgeous can’t wait to try it

  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from Seared Scallops with Golden Raisin Puree and Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts | Seduction Meals
    Sunday, 9 February, 2014

    […] This recipe comes courtesy of Meredith Steele, author of one of our favorite food blogs, In Sock Monkey Slippers. Meredith has a real talent for creating and photographing beautiful, artful dishes. Check out the recipe for this very seductive dish: Seared Scallops with Golden Raisin Puree and Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts […]

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