• 2 cups water, plus more as needed
  • 2 cups milk, plus more as needed
  • 1½ Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup polenta
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ⅛ cup parmesan cheese
  • 8 fresh chives (for garnish)
  • 8 slices of thick cut bacon
  • ⅛ cup of BBQ sauce
  • ½ tsp. bourbon
  • 1½ lbs. dry sea scallops
  • 2 Tbsp. of the bacon grease
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Part One: Prepare the Polenta

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the water, milk and butter to a boil.
  2. Add two teaspoons of salt to the water and whisk in the polenta.
  3. Whisk constantly for three to four minutes to prevent lumps.
  4. Simmer for 45 minutes, partially covered and stirring every 10 minutes, until the polenta is thick, smooth and creamy.
  5. Add the cream and parmesan.
  6. Check for seasoning and adjust consistency by adding milk or water to the polenta.
  7. Polenta may be made up to 20 minutes ahead of time and kept covered until ready to serve.

Part Two: Cook the Bacon

  1. Cook bacon in sauté pan until crisp, remove from pan and place on paper towel to remove excess grease.
  2. Reserve some of the grease for the cooking of the scallops.

Part Three: Sauté the Scallops

  1. Lightly season the scallops with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the bacon grease in a sauté pan. When the grease is at the smoking point, add the scallops sear for about one to two minutes per side. The scallop should have a golden color on each side.

Part Four: Plate the Dish

  1. Place polenta in the middle of the plate.
  2. Place the scallops in the middle of the polenta. 
  3. Top the scallops with the sauce.
  4. Place the bacon on the side of the scallops and garnish with the chives.
  5. Serve!

Yield: 8 servings

Recipe courtesy of the chefs at the University of New Hampshire as part of our Farm to Campus Recipe Series