Thursday, February 28, 2013

Scallops in Blood Orange Sauce

They're still out there folks -- blood oranges that is. I don't know for how much longer though, so try this before the season is gone. It's so quick and easy to make but tastes like something you'd pay a lot of money for in a fancy restaurant. 
You can use regular oranges if you like, but of course you won't get that striking red color that contrasts so beautifully against the scallops. This dish comes together in minutes, so make sure you have all the ingredients ready from the get-go. The sauce is really a gastrique - a fancy name for when you blend sugar or honey with vinegar and other flavorings and let it reduce. 
I liked it so much, I made it twice in the same week. Try it and swoosh the scallops around in the sauce for a delicious flavor combo that's good enough for company but easy enough for a weeknight meal.

Scallops in Blood Orange Sauce

 six large scallops (these were so big that two were enough for one serving)
enough olive oil to coat the pan
salt, pepper to taste
juice of two blood oranges
2 T. butter
2 tsp. honey
2 T. white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
grated rind from one orange

Make the sauce simultaneously while cooking the scallops, or make it a few minutes ahead of time. This sauce is what's called a gastrique - when you mix honey or sugar with vinegar and other flavorings and let it reduce. Start by straining the juice from two blood oranges and putting it in a saucepan. Add the butter, honey and vinegar and reduce until syrupy. It should take no longer than five minutes if the flame is on high heat. Set it aside or keep it on a low flame while the scallops finish cooking.

To achieve a nice color on the scallops, it's important to get your skillet really hot before starting. Use a really sturdy stainless steel pan or cast iron skillet. Crank up the heat and let it get really hot. Then add a small amount of olive oil to coat. Place the scallops in the pan and let them sizzle. Don't peek underneath. Just leave them alone for a couple of minutes and resist the temptation to lower the heat. The first side will brown in about two to three minutes if your heat was high enough. Flip them over and do the same thing on the other side. They should need no more than five minutes total to cook. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Remove to a warm plate and cover if you're still working on the sauce. If the sauce is ready, place the scallops on a serving plate and pour the sauce around them. Garnish with grated orange rind.

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Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A marvelous combination! I'd love to try that.



Ely said...

Stupende! Adoro i frutti di mare e l'accostamento con l'arancia è spettacolare! Complimenti di cuore.. un abbraccio e dolce giovedì! :D

Daniela said...

Ma che splendida ricetta Linda!!!! Profumatissima ed elegante. Grazie ed un bacione!

Claudia said...

Sweet honey is the perfect partner to the tartness of blood oranges...and the scallops certainly benefited from your creativity in the kitchen. Well done. I shall try it sometime soon...especially since scallops are among my favourite seafood morsels ;o)

Flavourful wishes,

daniela64 said...

una ricetta di gran classe, comlimenti linda. Buon pomeriggio Daniela.

Dewi said...

Blood orange sauce sounds really tempting. I must try this Linda. Thanks for sharing.

bellini said...

The sweetness of the scallops and the orange flavour combination would be striking.

Claudia said...

I think I could just drink this sauce. Oh my - the combination is beautiful. The cats are looking longingly at the scallops. Must do.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Those scallops are golden seared perfection. I loooooooove scallops. Pairing it with the citrus of blood oranges is a great idea.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Oh heaven help me I want this!
It looks beautiful Linda and I love your photo!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I'm always looking for new ways to cook scallops because my husband loves them. Great sauce!

Peter M said...

Perfectly seared scallops are the main event here. The blood orange sauce is the cherry on top!

simona said...

wonderful combination and great taste! :)

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

What a beautiful dish! I love any type of scallops.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Your scallops look delicious and I'm sure they were. I just bought blood oranges the other day.

Chiara Giglio said...

adoro le capesante e con l'arancia devono essere favolose! Un abbraccio e buona domenica!

Frank Fariello said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I love blood oranges and I love scallops. The two together must be heaven.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Your sauce sounds like liquid sunshine, Linda! I love scallops, and I'm sure this sauce would also taste good on salmon.