This year for Valentine's Day, instead of fighting for a reservation and investing hundreds of dollars into an elaborate dinner and drinks, a showy outfit and overpriced Uber trips, whip up a romantic (and easy!) dinner for two at home.
I know what you're thinking, cooking for someone can be nerve-racking, especially in the early stages of a new relationship. However, I'm here to prove to you that you're more than capable of preparing a divine, health-forward and aesthetically pleasing dinner for two. Better yet, instead of cooking for your date, why not cook with your date? One of my all-time favorite things to do is to cook with my boyfriend, Mike. I'd take a night of learning, experimenting and trying new recipes together in our kitchen over a night out, any time!
This Scallop recipe with Bacon, Grapefruit and Chimichurri is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Scallops can be intimidating to cook, but they shouldn't be! A quick sear on each side in a hot skillet is all it takes. Or, if you want to really knock it out of the park, Sous Vide your Scallops, and then give them a quick sear- they will unquestionably melt in your mouth.
If we're being honest, the most difficult part of this whole recipe is segmenting the grapefruit (when I walk you through that, you'll see that it, too, is a cakewalk). This meal is comprised of just about everything: salt, a touch of sweetness, fat, texture, heat and acid. Open up a beautiful bottle of wine, or craft a few cocktails, and you're destined for an ideal evening in.
Scallops with Grapefruit, Bacon and Chimichurri
Not only is the recipe the perfect date night go-to, but because it takes under 30 minutes to prepare, it's ideal for weeknights, too!
Before Making the Chimichurri, preheat the oven to 425F and place your Bacon on a Parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until crisp, cool and then crumble and set aside in a small bowl.
Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend for one minute. Season with salt to taste and set aside. Alternatively, finely mince Fresno Chile, Garlic and herbs and add to a medium size bowl with remaining ingredients. Whisk until combined well.
Prepare the Salad
Begin by segmenting the grapefruit. Trim the top 1/4 inch and bottom 1/4 inch of the Grapefruit to create a flat surface.
With one of the flat sides down on a cutting board, start at the top of the grapefruit with your knife. Cut the peel/pith off from top to bottom, following the natural curve of the grapefruit.
When the peel/pitch has been removed, stand the grapefruit up on a flat surface again. Following the natural line segments of the Grapefruit, cut it in half. Now, you can cut the grapefruit into segments by following the natural lines. Remove any seeds and set segmented Grapefruit pieces aside in a small bowl.
Using a Microplane (or a sharp knife), slice the Radish into thin rounds. Cut your radish pieces, leaving some in halves and some in quarters pieces. Set aside in a small bowl.
Divide Arugula evenly between plates and top with Radish, Grapefruit and Shallots. Top with remaining 1/2 tsp Lemon juice and a piece of Salt and Pepper.
Searing the Scallops
In a medium bowl, combine Cornmeal, Salt and Pepper. One at a time, coat Scallops in Cornmeal mixture and put onto a clean plate.
Heat medium cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add Olive Oil. When hot enough (skillet will put off a touch of smoke), add Scallops to pan and sear for 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and plate beside the salad. Drizzle with Chimichurri, top with Bacon bits, finish with Micro-greens (optional) and serve!
*If you're going to Sous Vide your Scallops, set your Precision Cooker (I use Anova Culinary's model- with bluetooth and Wifi) to 123.8F. Salt and pepper Scallops and place into a vacuum seal or ziplock bag and seal with vacuum sealer or by using the immersion method. Set the timer for 30 minutes. Remove bag from water, Remove Scallops from bag and pat dry. Then, add to cornmeal mixture and sear.
I'm an Ohio Native and resided in the Buckeye State for the first 27 years of my life. In June of 2017, my boyfriend, Mike, and I moved to beautiful downtown St. Petersburg (job relocation for him- I didn't take much convincing) and we have reveled in every incredible moment of our journey here. I have a genuine passion for cooking and a love affair with food- I'm deeply infatuated with the art, experimentation and theatrics of it all. On weekends (and when I'm not in the kitchen), Mike and I try to cross a restaurant, brewery, cocktail bar, and local event (or two) off of our ever-growing list of places to experience in our fabulous city.