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Seared Wrapped Scallops with Balsamic Glaze

from Kitchen Playdates by Lauren Bank Deen
Seared Wrapped Scallops with Balsamic Glaze

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
12 large sea scallops, little "foot" removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound Serrano ham or prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh rosemary or thyme, finely chopped, for garnish

Serves 4

This and many other wonderful recipes may be found in
Kitchen Playdates
by Lauren Bank Deen from Chronicle Books


Bobby Flay is one of the most committed dads I know (after my husband, Anthony, of course!) When I was producing his show at Lifetime, he was constantly on my case to stop working so hard so I could start working on having kids. He was right, of course. One of the other things we share, besides parental pride, is a love of all things Spanish. I lived in Spain for a year after college, and shortly after I returned, Bobby opened his Spanish-influenced restaurant, Bolo. This was way before the public's current love affair with Iberian food began. He's been a great cheerleader for my career, and when I told him about Kitchen Playdates, he generously provided this recipe. Bobby's succulent dish included fig vinegar, which isn't easy to find. I substituted brown sugar and balsamic and changed the presentation so that kids can wrap the scallops with the ham.

Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and boil over high heat to reduce until syrupy, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Wrap a slice of ham around the wide, flat top and bottom of each scallop. If needed, place a toothpick horizontally through the scallop to secure the ham.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, and heat until shimmering. Carefully place scallops, ham side down, in the pan. Cook until the ham is crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully turn the scallops and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove the toothpicks and transfer 3 scallops to each plate, leaning each slightly towards the center like a tepee for presentation. Drizzle with the balsamic mixture. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and the chopped herbs.

Note: To make a full tray to set out for a buffet, wrap the scallops ahead, and roast them on an oiled baking sheet for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F Arrange them on a tray or platter, drizzle with the balsamic syrup, spear with toothpicks, and serve.

Kids of all ages can season and wrap the scallops, spear them with toothpicks (with some adult supervision), and garnish them with fresh herbs.

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