This dish is rich, definitely decadent with it’s unashamed use of bacon and inspired by a recent visit I had at a Japanese (Izakaya) bar here in Toronto. The most outstanding appetizer of the of two nights I spent at Izakaya was this dish made of scallops and enoki mushrooms wrapped in slab bacon. Presented with the opportunity, I definitely would have eaten 5 orders of this!
So here I am tweaking this dish to have more of a Greek touch to it. Greeks adore bacon (who doesn’t, other than PETA members), scallops are a winter shellfish adored by many and earthy mushrooms – I’ve loved even as a kid. I’ve used some slab bacon to stand up to the heat, sea scallops that are plump and about 1-inch in thickness and the enoki mushrooms were ditched for the Cremini, matching the size of the scallops and likely to cook in the same amount of time.
We’ve had a mild Autumn once again this year and other than some snow flurries, the herbs are out in the open and have only been exposed to some overnight frost. I’ve brought in some herbs that are vulnerable to the cold but the heartier herbs have remained outside (the perennials that will grown again come next Spring). I planted some Marjoram this past summer and it’s held up to the Canadian elements and it sounded like the perfect complement to scallops, mushrooms and bacon (pork).
Rounding out the Greek flavours are some lemon zest (squeeze the lemon after grilling), minced garlic, ground black pepper and some Fleur de Sel and dried Greek oregano sprinkled just before serving. As I said at the beginning of this post, it’s a rich dish but a keeper. You’re going to fall in love with this meze (appetizer) and you’re guests will want more!
Bacon-Wrapped Scallops & Mushrooms (Mπεικον Σουβλισμενο με Χτενια και Μανιταρια)
(serve6 as an appetizer/meze)
6 rashers of thick bacon (slab bacon)
12 bay scallops
12 Cremini mushrooms
1/4 extra-virgin Greek olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. of fresh marjoram leaves
Fleur de sel
dried Greek oregano
wooden skewers (soaked in water for at least 2 hours)
- If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least two hours. Brush your mushrooms or wipe with a damp cloth to remove any dirt. Rinse your scallops and pat-dry. In a bowl, add the olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, marjoram leaves and black pepper and whisk to incorporate. Reserve half of the marinade in a small cup and then add the mushroom and scallops into the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat and cover and place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Remove the scallops and mushrooms from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. It’s time the skewer the scallops and mushroom over and under a thick bacon slice. Alternating between scallop and mushroom, thread the bacon over and under the scallop and bacon with two of each being secured by the bacon and skewer (your bacon should form a horizontal S-shape). Repeat this step with the remaining bacon, scallops and mushrooms.
- Pre-heat your grill to a medium-high heat. Brush the grill surface well and then wipe the surface with a towel treated with vegetable oil. Place your skewers on the grill and cook on each side until bacon is crisp and the scallops and mushrooms have some grill marks. Brush the reserved marinade on your skewers as you’re grilling.
- Place and serve with lemon wedges, sprinkle some Fleur de Sel and some dried Greek oregano. I recommend a Boutari Moschofilero white with this delicious meze.
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