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Jersey Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Fennel and Bacon

Note: Jersey dry-packed scallops are extremely tender!

One medium bulb with stalks of Jersey Fresh fennel, large dice or 1 large Jersey Fresh onion, sliced
3 bacon slices, cut into half inch pieces
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter or margarine
¼ teaspoon salt
16 Large Jersey Sea Scallops (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Cook bacon in a 10 inch heavy skillet, turning over, until crisp. Transfer bacon to a small bowl and reserve bacon fat in a separate bowl.

Add ¼ cup broth to skillet and bring to a simmer, scraping up any brown bits. Add butter, salt and a pinch of pepper and fennel, covered, until tender. Stir in bacon bits and remove from heat.

Pat scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil with one tablespoon bacon fat in a heavy 12 inch skillet over moderately high heat until hot. Sear scallops in hot oils, turning over once, until golden brown and just cooked through, 4-6 minutes total. Transfer to serving platter and keep warm.

Drain off and throw away any fat from cooked scallops. Add remaining chicken broth and simmer 1 minute. Stir cornstarch into water in a cup, then stir into broth and simmer one minute. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over scallops and top with fennel and bacon.

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