2/3 cup diced uncooked pancetta or center-cut bacon (about 3 1/2 ounces)
12 sea scallops
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons dry vermouth
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
Cut off each asparagus tip into 2 1/2-inch-long pieces. (Reserve stalks for other uses.) Toss asparagus with olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in an 8-inch square baking pan. Bake at 475° for 6 minutes. Remove from pan, and set aside.
Cook pancetta or bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove from skillet, and drain on paper towels. Measure drippings, and add olive oil to measure 2 tablespoons.
Sprinkle both sides of scallops with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat reserved 2 tablespoons drippings and oil in skillet over medium-high heat until hot; add scallops. Cook scallops 5 minutes, turning once, until browned on both sides. (Cook in batches if scallops don't fit in the skillet without touching.) Set aside and keep warm.
Heat skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add orange juice and vermouth to skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter.
Place 3 scallops on each serving plate, forming a triangle in center of plate. Arrange 3 asparagus spears, tip end up, against the scallops. Drizzle with sauce, and sprinkle with reserved pancetta, chives, and Parmesan.
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