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Simple scallops are the best scallops. Frying these in a super hot pan is one of the best ways to eat them, and it's not as hard as you think. We keep accompaniments to a minimum, with the perfect match of crispy bacon and fennel. A starter to impress... a real treat.
preheat the grill as high as it will go and bring a pan of water to the boil.
line a grill tray with tin foil and lay the bacon strips on a rack over the foil.
grill for several minutes on each side until golden and crispy.
slice the fennel in half lengthwise and wedge into chunks.
blanch the fennel in the water for 4 minutes to soften, then drain.
toss the drained fennel in plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper and grill in a cast iron griddle pan (or any pan if you don’t have one) to char.
zest the lemon into the mascarpone and beat together with plenty of black pepper.
pat the scallops dry with kitchen paper and season well with salt and pepper.
fry the scallops with a splash of oil in a very hot pan for a minute on each side, adding a knob of butter and squeeze of lemon juice into the pan for the last 30 seconds.
arrange the fennel pieces onto two plate and dot blobs of the cream cheese over.
place a portion of scallops onto the fennel and sprinkle over the chopped crispy bacon and parsley to serve.