Cooking at Home with Chef John Kelly


For this week’s taste this culinary adventure, Donna Britt continues her series on cooking restaurant quality meals at home. This week, she’s joined by Chef John Kelly from The Stihl Whiskey Bar, showing us how to prepare their signature seared scallop dish.

Thanks to Chef John for sharing his recipes and tips. See the recipes below. Keep up with The Stihl to find out when they re-open on social media.

A special thanks to our sponsor, Newport Avenue Market, for giving us the time and resources to bring you this delightful culinary feature each week. Life is short. Eat good food. And have fun doing it.


Seared Scallops with Bourbon Bacon Sauce & Pickled Celery Caramel

Courtesy of Chef John Kelly/The Stihl Whiskey Bar

Pickled Celery Caramel

4-5 celery stalks, sliced thinly
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 bay leaf

Mix vinegar and sugar together in a small sauce pot and heat on low heat until combined. Add remaining ingredients.  Simmer on low for 20+ minutes, until sauce is thick and syrup-y.  Set aside to garnish scallop dish. Reserve leftover in fridge for several weeks.

Seared Scallops w/Bourbon Bacon Sauce

8 small to medium sized scallops, fresh or frozen (if frozen, thaw in fridge) KEEP SCALLOPS AS COLD AS POSSIBLE UNTIL READY TO USE
Canola oil
4 slices bacon, par-baked (partially cooked), chopped into pieces
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 ounce bourbon
1 ounce orange juice
1½ cups heavy cream, room temperature
1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
Pickled Celery Caramel
Arugula, for garnish

Remove abductor muscle, if present, from scallops. Dry each scallop completely.

Heat heavy non-stick skillet on high heat until very hot. Add a few swirls of canola oil. Add scallops, leaving room between them (if necessary sear in two batches). Tilt pan back and forth, moving oil around until scallops are golden-brown on each side, turning ONLY ONCE.  Scallops will easily release from pan once seared properly.  Add bacon pieces and garlic to skillet.  Remove scallops and set aside while making sauce. Remove from heat and add bourbon to skillet.  Stir a few times, allowing alcohol to burn off.  Return to heat and add OJ to skillet, stirring once or twice. Add warmed cream to skillet, continuing to stir so sauce doesn’t stick and also to release tasty tidbits from bottom of skillet. Once sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, stir in peas to warm through. Remove from heat and serve with Pickled Celery Caramel on top and arugula on the side.

Serves 4



Top Local Stories