This festive first course features a buttery scallop and an earthy potato and squash puree.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place the potato and the butternut-squash chunks in a large stockpot. Cover the vegetables with cold salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain vegetables in a colander. Pass through the fine holes of a food mill set over a large metal bowl. Set the vegetable puree aside.

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  • Have ready a pan of gently simmering water. In a small saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons butter and the cream; cook over medium heat until the butter has melted and the cream is hot, about 3 minutes. Pour the cream mixture into the reserved vegetable puree. Add the snipped chives, and season with salt and pepper; mix until combined. Place bowl of puree, covered, over the simmering water.

  • Trim the bacon slices so they are as wide as the scallops are thick. Wrap each scallop in bacon, trimming bacon so that it overlaps by about 1/4 inch; secure with kitchen twine. Season the scallop surfaces with salt and pepper.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet set over high heat. Place scallops in the skillet, with bacon down, and cook, turning, until the bacon is well browned all around, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn each scallop so one of the exposed scallop surfaces faces down, and cook until bottom is deep brown, about 1 minute.

  • Flip the scallops over, and transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook the scallops until they are opaque, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from oven. Transfer scallops to a warm place.

  • Pour off all the bacon fat from the skillet. Pour the vinegar and the chicken stock into the skillet. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom. Set the skillet over medium-high heat, and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon butter, and swirl in the skillet until the sauce has thickened and the butter has melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve set over a bowl, and set the sauce aside in a warm place.

  • When ready to serve, use a pair of kitchen shears to carefully snip and discard kitchen twine from the scallops. Divide the warm puree among twelve plates, and garnish with snipped chives. Place a scallop on each bed of puree, and drizzle with the reserved sauce.

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