Spinach Salad & Bacon-wrapped Scallops
Peppered Maple Salmon
Corn & Cream Bread Pudding

        Crisp spring weather puts me in the mood for entertaining, and this menu is one of my favorites! Begin your meal with Spinach Salad with Bacon-Wrapped Scallops. Baby spinach leaves are the base for this delicious salad tossed with sweet vinaigrette and topped with scallops wrapped in thick slices of bacon. Peppered Maple Salmon is a fabulous entree. The combination of the maple-soy marinade and the spicy black pepper are wonderful! Pair the salmon with savory Corn and Cream Bread Pudding. You now have an easy and elegant spring seafood supper. Enjoy!

Spinach Salad with Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

1 (10-ounce) bag triple-washed baby spinach
For the Sweet Vinaigrette:
9 slices thick-cut bacon
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Bacon-Wrapped Scallops:
18 sea scallops, about 1 pound
Reserved bacon from the vinaigrette
Teriyaki sauce

Fry bacon in a medium skillet until partially cooked but still pliable. Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the skillet. Heat the remaining drippings over medium-high heat and add the onions. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and season to taste. Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the reserved bacon strips in half. Wrap each scallop with a piece of the bacon and secure with a toothpick. Sprinkle with teriyaki sauce and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Place the spinach in a large salad bowl. Dress, to taste, with the vinaigrette and toss well. Top with the warm scallops and serve. Serves 6.

Peppered Maple Salmon
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup soy sauce
6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1/3 cup coarsely ground black pepper

Combine maple syrup and soy sauce in a shallow baking dish. Place salmon fillets in the marinade. Cover and chill for at least four hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pepper in a shallow dish. Remove salmon from marinade and press top of each fillet into the pepper. Place on lightly greased baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Serves 6.

Corn and Cream Bread Pudding
4 slices bacon, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
2 cups fresh corn
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 large eggs, beaten
10 slices of French bread, cut into cubes             (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Fry bacon in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings Add the green onion and cook until softened. Add the corn, thyme, salt and pepper and warm through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream and beaten eggs. Place the bread cubes and reserved bacon in a large bowl. Pour the corn mixture over the top and gently fold to coat the bread cubes well. Pour mixture into a lightly greased square baking pan. Bake until set, about 75 minutes. Serves 6.