Friday, March 25, 2011
Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce - French Fridays with Dorie
When we were in Puerto Rico recently (I feel like half of my sentences begin with the phrase "when we were in Puerto Rico"--we had such a good time!), we ate at the highly regarded restaurant, Pikayo, where I had seared scallops with a sweet plum wine sauce. It was very good, but I have to say that it wasn't as good as these scallops from Around My French Table. Of course, I didn't have a nice waiter refilling my wine glass at home, but it was a lot cheaper.
This is the easiest FFWD recipe so far. Once you've made the commitment to plunk down the money for sea scallops, the rest couldn't be simpler. It's so simple that you'd better make the caramel sauce (don't worry--it's not as sweet as it sounds) first. I served the scallops with leftover potato-kale cakes and a simple salad, because I could see that I wasn't going to have time for anything else.
The sugar is fully caramelized almost before it's melted. You have to be a little careful that it doesn't start to burn.
When you pour in the wine and the orange juice, it starts to bubble like crazy. It's very thin at this point, but will reduce in just a few minutes. The sweet plum wine sauce at Pikayo was a little too sweet; this sauce, with its dry white wine, tangy orange juice, and hint of caramelsweetness, was more balanced.
If there's a trick to this dish, I guess it would be simply to make sure the scallops are dry and and the pan is hot before starting to sear them.
Oh, and the second trick: have faith in the timing. It really is two minutes on the first side and one to two on the second. I didn't believe the scallops would be fully cooked just 90 seconds after being flipped, but they were perfect.
While you're plating the food, you have just enough time to enrich the sauce, that's been resting on low heat while you've been timing the scallops, with a few small pats of butter. It's a glorious, shiny brown. It looks so good you know it has to taste good too.
My daughter loves seared scallops. Her birthday is coming up soon, and I think I'll make these scallops for her. I'm pretty sure she'll say, "You're the best mom in the world." Or maybe she'll just say, "These are the best scallops in the world." Oh well. Close enough.
Posted by Marie at 5:09 AM