12 Feb Maple Carrot Bisque with Seared Scallops & Candied Bacon
Okay, so this decadent dish is well…way more decadent (read: indulgent) and waaay more involved than my usual recipes, but it’s the dish that got me on the TV Show The Chef’s Kitchen and it’s awesome! You can make the Maple Carrot Bisque, the Candied Bacon and the Spiced Pecans the day before and sear the scallops the day of, if it’s easier. This is THE dish you make for your significant other or when you want to impress a crowd OR just for you if you’re craving something special! Again, it’s got a lot more steps and ingredients than the recipes I normally create, but it is pretty special and definitely restaurant style. The recipe is below and the video of me making this dish on The Chef’s Kitchen is here. Love it? Share it!
Maple Carrot Bisque with Seared Scallops & Candied Bacon
Makes about 6 servings
INGREDIENTS FOR MAPLE CARROT BISQUE:
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 lbs. pounds organic carrots, peeled and diced very small
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 10 sage leaves
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- Sea salt
- White pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 to 5 cups organic low sodium chicken or vegetable stock (I like Saffron Road Low Sodium Chicken Broth), or more if needed
- 1 cup half n’ half
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, or as needed
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Microgreens (get them at Whole Foods in the produce section) – totally optional but they’re pretty
- *Ideally use 6 shallow, restaurant style bowls or just use regular bowls!
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAPLE CARROT BISQUE
- Heat a large heavy bottom pot over medium high heat. Once hot, melt butter. Add carrots and onions and saute for approximately 6 minutes or until carrots begin to soften. While vegetables saute, chop sage and chop thyme. Add fresh herbs to carrots and stir. Season with sea salt and white pepper. Add garlic and saute an additional minute.
- Pour stock or broth into the pot and bring soup to a gentle simmer. Lower heat and continue to simmer gently for approximately 30 minutes (while you prepare remaining ingredients for the dish.)
- Blend soup in a blender (if necessary in batches) until very smooth with no clumps. Return blended soup to the pot.
- Pour half and half in a medium sized bowl. To temper the half and half and prevent it from curdling, add one ladle full of soup at a time to the half and half until the temperature increases to the approximate temperature of the soup. Pour the half and half and soup mixture into the pot of soup and stir.
- Add pure maple syrup, squeeze of fresh lemon juice and nutmeg. Season to taste with sea salt and white pepper.
INGREDIENTS FOR CANDIED BACON:
- 5 slices thick cut, all natural uncured apple wood smoked bacon (find at Whole Foods)
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- About 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
INSTRUCTIONS FOR CANDIED BACON:
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add bacon and fresh thyme sprigs and cook until bacon is crispy. Remove bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon. Reserve bacon fat for later (to sear the scallops.)
- Return the cooked bacon to the pan and pour in maple syrup. Stir bacon to coat and cook for one to two minutes or until maple syrup is evaporated. Pour bacon on a plate to cool and harden. Remove sprigs only of fresh thyme (any thyme leaves in the bacon can remain.)
INGREDIENTS FOR CANDIED PECANS:
- 1 heaping cup whole raw pecans
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 3 big pinches nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
INSTRUCTIONS FOR CANDIED PECANS:
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add pecans and toast lightly for five minutes. Add butter and spices to pan and toss to coat. Pour in just a touch of maple syrup (to help the spices stick) and toss to coat. Cook spiced pecans an additional minute or two. Remove from pan and place on a sheet pan to cool and harden.
INGREDIENTS FOR SEARED SCALLOPS:
- 1 ½ lbs. fresh (not previously frozen) large sea scallops, brought to room temperature
- Reserved bacon fat from the candied bacon
- Sea salt
- White pepper
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SEARED SCALLOPS:
- Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add about 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon fat to the pan and let the bacon fat get hot.
- Using a paper towel, gently pat the scallops dry to remove all excess moisture. Season both sides with sea salt and a touch of white pepper.
- Once the bacon fat is hot, gently add the scallops (one at a time) to the pan, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. You should hear a nice sizzle (if not, wait a moment until the bacon fat is hot enough.) Let the scallops sear for approximately 3 minutes on the first side (depending on the size of the scallops), and then about 2 minutes on the other side, making sure not to only flip them one time. The goal is to leave the scallops undisturbed and allow them to properly sear to create a sweet golden crust on each side. Gently remove the scallops from the pan and set aside.
- Pour two ladles of Maple Carrot Bisque in each bowl. Gently place 4 to 5 seared scallops on top of the bisque, in the center of the bowl. Arrange spiced pecans and candied bacon around the scallops. Garnish with micro greens. Enjoy!
SO, WHAT’S THE NUTRITION BALANCE?
This recipe has a lot of fat (ha!), carbohydrates and protein. It’s definitely a complete meal.