Red Lobster Peach-Bourbon BBQ Scallops
By Todd Wilbur
Menu Description: “Wood-grilled, bacon-wrapped sea scallops with a sweet peach-bourbon BBQ sauce, over crispy onion rings with pico de gallo.
You want a great way to serve scallops? Here it is. This appetizer features scallops wrapped with bacon, skewered, grilled, then smothered in a super secret sweet sauce and topped with fresh pico de gallo. As a bonus, they’re served with a side of crispy thin onion rings. When you get it all into your mouth at once, you’ll instantly know why this appetizer is so popular. I recommend using medium-size sea scallops that are all about the same size so that they each take the same amount of time to cook. You can wrap the scallops with center-cut bacon—a shorter bacon strip—or you can use the standard-size bacon and just cut off the ends. What’s nice about this dish is that you can make it a couple hours ahead of time by preparing the pico de gallo and sauce, baking the scallops, wrapping them with bacon, and then storing them covered in the refrigerator until grill time. When you are ready to serve the dish, make the crispy onions rings, grill the scallops, and serve them with the sauce poured over the top.
Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.
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Pico De Gallo
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons minced jalapeño peppers (remove seeds)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Peach-Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup dicd onion
- 1 1/4 cups peach preserves
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon bourbon whiskey
- 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 12 small to medium sea scallops
- 12 slices center-cut bacon
- 4 to 6 metal or wood skewers
- Vegetable oil
Crispy Onion Rings
- 6 to 10 cups vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings
- Do This
1. Make the pico de gallo by combining all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and set aside until needed.
2. Make the peach-bourbon BBQ sauce by heating 1 teaspoon of oil in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion begins to brown. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and heat until bubbling, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, or until thick.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and preheat a barbecue grill or indoor grill to high heat.
4. Cook the bacon in a skillet until about halfway done—it should not be crispy.
5. Arrange the scallops on a parchment paper-lined or nonstick baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they are no longer soft in the middle. Cool for 5 minutes.
6. Prepare the scallops skewers by wrapping 1 piece of partially cooked bacon around a scallop. You can slice a little bit of the fat off the bacon to make it thinner so that it is closer to the same height as the scallop when wrapped around it. Pierce the scallop with one skewer slightly offset from the middle of the scallop. Turn the scallop so that you are piercing it through at least one end of the bacon, pinning the end of the bacon to the scallop. Run another skewer through the scallop on the other side parallel to the first skewer. Repeat with 4 scallops per skewer (or more if your skewers are long enough). When all of the scallops are prepped on the skewers, brush them with a little oil. You can now set the scallops aside for up to 30 minutes until you are ready to grill them, or you can chill them, covered for several hours.
7. While the scallops bake, make the crispy onion rings by heating oil to 350 degrees F in a fryer or large saucepan. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and pepper in another shallow bowl or pie pan. Dip each onion ring into the breading, then into the egg mixture, and then back into the breading until well-coated. Arrange the breaded rings on a plate until all of them are coated. When the oil is hot, fry a handful of the onion rings at a time until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
8. Grill the skewered scallops for 3 to 4 minutes per side on the hot grill until grill marks form. Immediately after removing the scallops from the grill, brush all of them with the peach-bourbon BBQ sauce, then spoon the pico de gallo over the top. Arrange a pile of fried onions around the scallops before serving.
Serves 4 as an appetizer.