Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops and the Oddity of Blogtography Outside the Home

Between the summer trips, weekend jaunts to the lakehouse, and all the other tomfoolery the warm weather brings, it's hard to blog during the summer.

It's not that I don't cook. Every weekend, up at my parents-in-law's lakehouse, we cook up a storm.

But it's a little embarrassing to do my blogtography out of the comfort of my own home. The careful plating, the click click of the camera, the positioning of the lighting ... it all seems kind of, well, weird.

It's the equivalent of rolling out of bed at someone else's house and lollygagging in the family room in your holey pajamas, hair sticking up all over the place and with coffee acting as the first mouthwash of the day.

You just don't do that outside the home.

A good-mannered blogger would just let people see the finished product on the blog, right?

But then again, when you don't feed your blog, it gets grumpy.

I could hear it growling at me out on the deck where I was drinking G&Ts and eating crudite. I could hear it whining when a plate of hot, delicious mussels fra diavolo or a warm blueberry and raspberry galette hit the table, in all its un-photographed glory.


Okay, okay.

Shedding my sense of self-consciousness at letting people see what a food-obsessed blogger does, I said to my mother-in-law, Joyce, and sister-in-law, Rachele, "Okay, Ladies, we must feed the blog," as they were wrapping some bacon around large sea scallops.

Smiling, Joyce said to Rachele, "I don't worry about how the food looks, as long as it tastes good. But Ninette wants her food to taste and look good."

To which I replied, "Are you all doing a good job and making some blog-worthy scallops?"

They rightfully ignored me, but of course, made some beautiful scallops all the same.

While the rest of the scallops merrily rolled themselves onto a plate after their tanning experience under the broiler, I rescued one, found a sprig of parsley to be its friend, and placed them carefully on a pristine, white plate. Click click under the blue-white lights (on the floor of course, since I didn't have my blogtography table with me), and this model scallop had its day in the sun, or rather, the Lowel photo light.

And of course, all of this happened in front of an amused audience of parents-in-law, brother- and sister-in-law, friends of brother- and sister-in-law, and my family. They enjoyed the juxtaposition of salty, crispy bacon against the firm, smooth texture of the scallops while observing the rather bizarre machinations of a middle-aged Asian woman with a six-year old Canon Rebel, half bent over a solitary scallop wedged between a photo light and a light bouncer on the kitchen floor.

At least the blog is not hungry anymore.

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

12 large fresh sea scallops (about 1 lb.) or as many as you want
6-8 slices bacon (about 1/2 a slice of bacon per scallop)
Fresh ground pepper
Lemon wedges for garnish

Cook bacon gently over medium heat until partially cooked but not crisp. Let cool.

Pat each scallop dry on each side and sprinkle with some fresh ground pepper.

Cut each bacon slice in half and wrap one half around a scallop, securing with a toothpick. Place on cookie sheet or broiling pan.

Preheat broiler. Place scallops on top rack. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until scallops turn opaque throughout. Turn a few times so bacon gets crisp.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Ninette's Notes:

-You can also brush scallops with BBQ sauce or teriyaki sauce if you want a little flavor.

-When purchasing scallops, always go to a reputable fishmonger. Buy sea scallops that are ivory or off-white in color. If you see white-white scallops and they are sitting in a milky looking liquid, they have been treated with a preservative, whose side effects are for the scallops to soak up extra water (bad for searing and you're paying for extra water) and to affect the subtle sweet taste of the scallop.

-I've never tried frozen scallops, but if you have, write a comment below and let us know how frozen scallops work in this recipe.


Ravenous Couple said...

Beautiful morsel and photos. we totally understand the feeling of you blogging out of the comforts of your home!! we often go to her sisters and parents and they're not that familiar with blogging so we almost have to take the photos in secret!

Ravenous Couple said...

Actually, Alton Brown says that flash frozen scallops might be better, because the ones you see plump and juicy in the grocery store might be treated with brine etc. We like flash frozen scallops from Costco and have many dishes with them and it's great.

La Table De Nana said...

Oh you made me smile out loud!!! The last time my friend Jojo came for dinner..they were just about 10 mins early.. and came to the BACK door:) I was in the kitchen at the table taking a photo:) They tapped on the window and I was so surprised! I was CAUGHT in the act!!She said "WatchatakinapictureofnowMon?" with love in her voice of course..we are friends since birth:)
So I GET you!!!!

And yes.. hanging around in old PJ's w/ a roller even on top of my head..:) Is a private moment:)

Your scallop is adorably photogenic..I love bacon with anything and everything..and do you love the Lowell?:)
Our daughter's friend owns one of the popular Bistros here and often buys the jumbo flash frozen Costco we do too now:)

Sounds like you have a sweet life away at the lake:) Enjoy! Enjoy enjoy!!

Sophie said...

Beautiful post & what a beautiful scalloo!!

I love recipes like these,...So tasty!!

Anonymous said...

I don't like scallops.

The Little Teochew said...

Dear sweet Ninette, thank you for your generous compliments on my blog. It made my day extra sunny :)

Oh, how I *love* scallops! I can only imagine how delectable yours taste ... embedded in a smoky, savoury bacon wrap. What's not to like? Your words strike a chord with food bloggers everywhere. We ALL understand exactly what you're sayin'. And might I add, I adore your wicked sense of humour. Great post, great pics!

Sippity Sup said...

I want a lake house and I want to eat scallops like this...GREG

Tessa said...

Those look absolutely delicious. I agree that trying to take pictures and blog about what you made for dinner anywhere besides your kitchen and living room is awkward.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ninette said...

Last comment removed for bad language, but the gist of it that commenter has problems with the word "crudite."

♥peachkins♥ said...

This is a very elegant dish! areal treat,I must say..

Kate said...

I'm laughing about the 'photo incident'... I'm still trying to figure out how to photograph my food--it refuses to smile for me! I can see that you've got it figured out, though. This is beautiful. And it sounds delicious. I love scallops. I love bacon. I have to try this.

Tiffiny Felix said...

Hee,hee, hee...ha, ha...sigh...Oh, your story is so wonderful! I laugh because of the many times I've made food at my sister's house as they sit around and watch me position and photograph and scowl and run back and forth between the kitchen and the deck and the BBQ and the stove :) The life of a food blogger is a strange and funny (and wonderful) one :)

~Carole said...

Gorgeous photo!

I can so relate to photographing food outside of the blogging kitchen. :-)

lj said...

just made these today and they came out great. thanks for posting!