Alcoeur Apron's Seared Scallops with Green Peas, Mint, and Shallots
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 strips bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large shallot, minced
1 1/2 pound large sea scallops, patted dry and foot muscle removed
Flaky sea salt, optional for serving
In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the peas until bright green and soft, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the peas and transfer the rest to a blender. Blend, drizzling in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to reach a creamy consistency. Add the mint leaves, a large pinch of salt, and a pinch of black pepper and blend until smooth. Set aside but keep warm.
In a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until the fat is rendered, 4-6 minutes. Remove and pour out all but 1 tablespoon of fat, reserving the remaining fat and setting aside. Add the shallot and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the reserved peas and bacon. Cook for about 30 seconds more, then remove but keep warm.
In the same pan, warm 2 tablespoons of the reserved fat over high heat until just barely smoking, then add the scallops, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side.
Serve the scallops with the pea puree, a sprinkle of the bacon mixture and flaky sea salt if desired.