Today’s recipe is not an “official” Disney Dish. As delicious as it is, you won’t be able to find this exact Pancetta Seared Scallops with Crispy Prosciutto & Minted Pea Puree recipe in any of the wonderful restaurants found around either Walt Disney World or Disneyland.
However, this, technically, does fit into our namesake category because it was inspired Disney in a couple of ways.
First, and most importantly, the original dish that motivated me to create this recipe, was served to us within Disney California Adventure Park at the Alfresco Tasting Terrace. It was part of a wine tasting event featuring featuring Fess Parker Wines. This is the second way it is related to Disney because, as you may know, Fess Parker played some of the company’s most beloved characters. Like Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, just to name a couple.
- If you’d like to learn more about the Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard, be sure to check out our Hyperion Adventures Podcast episode where we explored the winery’s history. We even we’re lucky enough to talk with the company’s Owner & Proprietor, Eli Parker. That’s right! He is Fess’ son and a very established winemaker.
We fell in love with that Seared Scallops dish at the event. So, I was inspired to recreate it. What I came up with, we feel, was even better. We’ve even made it into a recipe we break out often for special occasions. It’s bright, flavorful and versatile. I’ll be showing you how to make it as an appetizer but you can easily make the serving large enough for an entree.
Enough yapping! Let’s get searing!
The components for our Pancetta Seared Scallops with Crispy Prosciutto and Minted Pea Puree are fairly straightforward. Most everything should be easily found within your local grocery store.
The one main ingredient you may have trouble tracking down is the Pancetta. If you can’t find it near the bacon, or with the lunch meats, ask your butcher. They may be able to point you in the right direction. If you still can’t hunt down this Italian specialty, however, you can replace it with traditional Bacon. While it’s not quite as sexy, it works just fine for this recipe.
You may also notice I’m using Frozen Peas for this dish. I find they work perfectly well for this. Sure, you could get fresh pea pods and de-shell them. However, since you’re pureeing them anyway, I don’t feel they add that much to the final product.
Okay! You got me. Really, I’m just lazy! But the Frozen Peas do work just fine.
One more thing. You’ll see in the ingredients pictured above, I have Micro Greens. Specifically, Micro Kale. These are used primarily as a garnish. Sure, they do add a little to the flavor. However, I mostly use them because they just look great. If you can’t track them down, they are not necessary. Garnish, instead, with some Pea Tendrils, Sprouts or even just a little Parsley. Heck, you can leave this garnish off completely and it will still be a lovely plate of food.
The first thing you’ll want to prep for this Disney Dish is the Crispy Prosciutto. It’s a very easy step but something you’ll want to get done slightly in advance.
Begin by preheating your oven to 350ºF. Then, take the Prosciutto Slices and hand tear them into smaller sections; like in the picture above. Place on a Baking Sheet lined with Parchment Paper and place in the oven.
Roast the Prosciutto pieces for approximately 5 minutes at 350ºF. Don’t worry if the pieces aren’t completely firm when you remove them from the oven. This will happen as they begin to cool.
The Minted Pea Puree
Our next step is to get to work on the Minted Pea Puree. Place a medium-sized pan on the stove over medium heat. Add a little Oil then the Sliced Shallots and sweat until they turn just translucent.
Next, add the Frozen Peas and Chicken or Vegetable Stock. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let simmer, while stirring occasionally, for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
Once the Peas are done simmering, it’s time to get them pureed.
- I have a Stick Blender that I like to use for recipes like this. If you don’t have a Stick Blender, you can also use a Food Processor or a Traditional Blender. They will work just fine.
Start by straining the Peas, being sure to reserve the liquid. You’ll be adding a little of this back to help smooth the puree. Place the strained Peas back into the pan, or whatever device you’ll be using to do the pureeing, along with the Fresh Mint Leaves, Sugar and Salt. Puree the mixture, adding a little of the cooking liquid at a time until smooth.
Once the puree reaches your desired consistency, taste and adjust the seasonings, as necessary, with more Salt and/or Sugar. Keep warm until ready to serve.
The Seared Scallops
Now it’s time for the main event; the Pancetta Seared Scallops! The first thing you’ll want to do is get your Pancetta rendered and crispy. Place a large, non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the Diced Pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat has browned and most of the fat has rendered out. Remove the cooked Pancetta and reserve for service. Try to keep as much of the rendered Pancetta Fat in the pan, as possible.
Once you’ve removed the Pancetta from the pan, turn the heat up to medium-high.
- To get a proper sear on your Scallops, you’ll want the pan to be pretty hot before you place them within it. Scallops can turn a little rubbery when they cook too long. They can also be eaten almost raw. So the goal is to get the outside caramelized without overcooking the center. That means high heat for a short time. You’ll want the pan almost smoking when you place the Scallops in it.
Meanwhile, season both sides of the Scallops with Salt and Pepper. Once the pan reaches your desired heat, carefully add the Scallops. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan as this could lower it’s heat and cause them to steam rather than sear.
Cook the Scallops for approximately 3 to 4 minutes on the first side or until they have a sear similar to what you see above. Turn them over and sear for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from the pan and serve immediately.
How you decide to serve your Pancetta Seared Scallops with Crispy Prosciutto & Minted Pea Puree is completely up to you. It’s a very colorful and playful dish. So, have some fun with it!
Here’s what I did for my appetizer portion.
I started by placing a large spoonful of the Minted Pea Puree on one side of each serving dish. I then did a Spoon Swoosh to spread it across the plate. Next, I put 3 of the Pancetta Seared Scallops on top of the spread Puree. I followed that with a couple of pieces of the Crispy Prosciutto in between each Scallop. I finish by sprinkling the top with some of the Diced Pancetta and a garnish of the Micro-Greens.
Serve warm and enjoy!
This Pancetta Seared Scallops with Crispy Prosciutto & Minted Pea Puree recipe hits all the notes you’d hope for. Each forkful brings something different to the party.
The Scallops have that wonderful, seared crust but are perfectly tender on the inside. With each bite, you get the brininess from the Scallop complemented perfectly from the sweetness of the Pea Puree.
The Mint within the Puree add this lovely brightness while the Pancetta and Crispy Prosciutto bring a touch of Fat and Salt that balances the dish beautifully. They also provide a wonderful, crispy texture change.
It’s light, it’s bright and it’s beautiful! Best yet, it’s simpler than it looks.
Make this Disney Dish for your next celebration and wow your family & friends! (And don’t forget to pair it with a Fess Parker Chardonnay!)
Pancetta Seared Scallops with Crispy Prosciutto & Minted Pea Puree
Makes approximately 3 – 4 Servings
For the Crispy Prosciutto
- 4 – 5 slices – Prosciutto – Hand torn
For the Minted Pea Puree
- 1 – Large Shallot – Sliced
- 2 cups – Frozen Peas
- 2 cups – Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 4 – 5 leaves – Fresh Mint
- 1½ tsp – Sugar
- 1 tsp – Salt
For the Pancetta Seared Scallops
- 4 oz – Pancetta – Diced
- 12 – 15 – Large Scallops
- Salt & Pepper – To taste
- Micro Greens, Pea Tendrils or Sprouts (if desired)
For the Crispy Prosciutto
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF
- Hand tear the Prosciutto Slices and place on a Baking Sheet lined with Parchment Paper
- Roast for approximately 5 minutes at 350ºF
- Allow to cool and reserve for service
For the Minted Pea Puree
- Place a medium-sized pan on the stove over medium heat
- Add some Oil to the pan. Once hot, add the Sliced Shallots and saute until just translucent
- Next, add the Frozen Peas and Chicken or Vegetable Stock and bring to a boil while stirring occasionally
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes
- Once the Peas are done simmering, strain them and reserve the liquid
- Place the Peas, Fresh Mint Leaves, Sugar and Salt in a Food Processor or Blender
- Puree, while adding the reserved liquid a little at a time, until smooth
- Once the Puree reaches your desired consistency, taste and adjust the seasonings, as necessary with Sugar and/or Salt
- Keep warm until service
For the Pancetta Seared Scallops
- Place a Large, Nonstick Pan on the stove over medium heat
- Add the Diced Pancetta to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the Pancetta has browned and rendered away most of its fat
- Remove and reserve for service
- Place the pan back on the stove and increase the heat to medium-high
- Season both sides of the Scallops with Salt and Pepper
- Once the pan is sufficiently heated, add the Scallops. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan
- Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the Scallops have a good sear, on the first side
- Turn the Scallops over and sear for an additional 2 to 3 minutes
- Remove from pan and serve immediately
Plating the Pancetta Seared Scallops with Crispy Prosciutto & Minted Pea Puree
- Place a large spoonful of the Minted Pea Puree on each serving plate and spread with a Spoon Swoosh (if desired)
- Place 3 of the Pancetta Seared Scallops on top of the spread Puree
- Add a piece of Crispy Prosciutto between each Scallop
- Sprinkle the Rendered Pancetta over the top and garnish with the Micro Greens, Pea Tendrils or Sprouts (if desired)
- Serve immediately