Bacon-wrapped scallops are one of the most luxurious appetizers you can serve, not to mention one of the easiest to prepare.

I like using big, plump Alaskan sea scallops and apple wood smoked bacon. Because there are only two main ingredients in this dish, you need to make sure you use the best quality the biggest, freshest sea scallops you can find, and the most flavorful bacon. After that, they are so easy to grill that you hardly need a recipe.

This all-protein finger food appetizer is perfect for holiday entertaining. It's simple to prep and quick to cook. You even could prepare them in advance. I pre-cook the bacon to render some of the fat and make it soft and pliable for wrapping around the scallops. Then just refrigerate until your guests arrive and pop them on the grill when you want them.

Grilled bacon-wrapped scallops

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Makes 12 to 14 scallops

1 pound jumbo sea scallops

Half pound center-cut bacon

Salt and ground black pepper

Round wooden toothpicks, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Heat oven to 400 F. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Heat grill to medium-high.

Use paper towels to blot dry the scallops. Arrange them on a plate, then set aside.

Arrange the bacon in a single layer on the rack over the baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just starting to cook. Do not fully cook the bacon.

Remove the bacon from the oven. If too hot to handle, let cool for several minutes. Once the bacon can be handled, wrap one slice of bacon around each scallop. Secure in place by threading one of the toothpicks through the bacon and scallop.

Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the tops and bottoms of the scallops with bacon fat from the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side.