Monday, January 6, 2014

Cajun Pancetta Wrapped Scallops with Pear Balsamic Reduction

As we continue our theme of using flavored balsamic vinegars as a secret ingredient, here is a decadent recipe for one of our favorite food items, sea scallops.  Don’t let the components intimidate you, this is an easy recipe to prepare, and the prep time should be no more than 15 minutes.

What is fun about this recipe is that you can vary it in different ways simply by using a different variation of our flavored balsamic vinegars.  Here some quick thoughts: 
  • Pastamoré White Balsamic with Pear:  obviously this is the one we choose to publish.  White balsamics tend to be lighter and more delicate than traditional balsamic vinegar.  The flavor of the pear is subtle, but marries well with the richness of the sweet scallops.  
  • Pastamoré Traditional Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar:  this is a classic pairing.  The balsamic flavor here is more robust and pronounced.  You will not need as much time to reduce this as it is quite thick already.  
  • Pastamoré Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar:  we found this version to be fun and a bit eclectic.  The raspberry balsamic matches the best with the spinach, and it too is more robust.  We think this would be nicely paired as a summer outdoor dish warm or cold.
  • Pastamoré Passion Fruit White Balsamic:  another 'white and lighter' option, but the passion fruit comes through in spades.  This changes the entire dish to be more exotic, tropical and Caribbean.

for the scallops

  • 10 large sea scallops
  • 10 thin slices Pancetta
  • Cajun Magic Cajun Spice Mix
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

for the spinach salad

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bunches spinach
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • ¼ cup dry white wine 
Prepare balsamic reduction:  Pour White Balsamic with Pear Vinegar in sauce pan and simmer over low heat reduced by about ½.   Set aside and let cool.

Wrap each scallop individually with one slice of pancetta and secure with a toothpick.  Dredge scallops wrapped in pancetta in Cajun seasoning.  Heat a skillet over medium heat with ¼ cup olive oil. Cook sea scallops on each side for about two minutes or until done (seared golden).  In a second sauté pan over high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and quickly sauté spinach, shallots and garlic for about one minute.  Add white wine and cook for another minute, until spinach is tender. Place small amount of spinach on a plate and place 2 scallops on top. Drizzle balsamic reduction on top.

Serves 5 as appetizer.

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