There was no way I was going to be at the JFX Farmers Market in Baltimore and not purchase slab bacon. Our friend Donny has cooked it up for us before and I was blown away. I knew that if I came home without it, my Bacon-Obsessed Dad would be very disappointed. He and I made plans to cook up the bacon and make dinner together, something we rarely do. After days of contemplating our menu, here’s what we came up with:
Seared Scallops & Shrimp Over Creamy Linguine
a Recipe by: It’s Good to be the Cook (and the Cook’s Dad!)
1 box Whole Wheat Linguine
Scallops (3-4 per person), rinsed and patted dry
Shrimp (3-4 per person we bought raw but devained), rinsed and patted dry
1 cup Slab Bacon, cut into small pieces (use 4 pieces of regular bacon if you don’t have slab)
1/2 Onion, peeled and chopped
1 ½ cups frozen peas
1 cup Light Cream
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated fine
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
2 Green Onions, chopped
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Dried Parsley
1. Cook the pasta according to directions on the box, using olive oil and salt. When it’s finished, drain, saving some of the pasta water, and set aside.
2. Cook the bacon on low heat in cast iron skillet until crisped through. Set aside on paper towels to drain. Keep the bacon fat in the pan.
3. Cook the onions in the bacon grease. Set aside.
4. Lightly salt and pepper the scallops and shrimp, making sure they are patted dry first.
5. Add enough sunflower oil to the cast iron skillet to just cover the bottom. Turn to high heat. Once the oil is hot (you can test by adding just a drop of water into the pan) add the scallops. The key here is DO NOT MOVE the scallops! Let them cook and do not touch them until about 5-6 minutes in. Flip the scallops and do not move them again! This is how you’ll get that nice brown crust you’re looking for. Add the shrimp during the last few minutes of cooking the scallops. They should only take 2 or 3 minutes. The scallops should take 8-10 depending on the size (ours were huge!)
6. When the seafood is done, remove them from the oil and drain them on papertowels. Now, you can make the sauce for the pasta. In the same pot you cooked the pasta, add the light cream, parmesan cheese, peas, garlic, cooked onion, and green onion. Bring to a simmer. Mix it around until the cheese is melted and the sauce starts to thicken. Add the pasta (I cooked a whole box but did NOT use the entire thing), just a shake of salt, pepper, dried parsley, and cayenne pepper if you wish. I used a touch of the saved pasta water to make the sauce go a little bit further. Stir in the bacon.
7. Serve the pasta with the seafood ontop.
As most of you know, I don’t normally make many dinners that are as decadent as this one! What a treat! My Dad and I spent all evening in the kitchen, and it paid off. Everyone enjoyed their meal, everything turned out perfect, and most important, we had a lot of fun together!