French Fridays with Dorie: Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce
If you follow my blog, you know that for my Friday posts, I make a recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table as part of an on-line cooking group called French Fridays with Dorie. This is the second recipe in March that I had my doubts about. (The first was the Beggar’s Linguine.)
This week’s recipe was Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce. I love scallops, but I was a little ambivalent about the sauce. Of course, without a sauce, plain seared scallops aren’t necessarily a cookbook-worthy recipe. Dorie described the sauce as aigre-doux, French for sour-sweet. I watched the sugar melt into caramel (sweet) and added the orange juice and white wine (sour) and reduced it to a thick glossy sauce (after the caramel seized up and had to melt down again).
In the end, unfortunately, I found that the sauce had little flavor. Howard is always skeptical of fruit in his food, but he took a taste of the sauce off a spoon before opting to eat his scallops plain. It wasn’t the fruity flavor that caused him to decline, but rather a lack of any spark. I’ll admit that the rewarmed sauce the next night was a little tastier, but I doubt I’ll make caramel-orange sauce again.
On the other hand, the scallops themselves cooked up easily and tastily. Other than a rinse and pat dry, the scallops were ready to cook after a quick tug to remove the little muscle. They seared quickly in hot oil, with a sprinkle of salt and white pepper, cooking for just a few minutes on each side, undisturbed, and they were perfect! Usually, we grill sea scallops, so the bright side of this recipe is a new technique, especially for cold weather cooking when the grill is inaccessible. I’ll have to search out another sauce to top the scallops, or just eat them plain.
Next Friday falls on April Fool’s Day. The selected recipe is quinoa, fruit and nut salad, which I voted for and sounds appealing (no joke). In the meantime, if any of the recipes intrigue you, I recommend that you buy the book. If you’re really ambitious, you can join this cooking group and try a new recipe each week.
Other bloggers are also chronicling their own experiences with this recipe. I always find some extra inspiration from my fellow cooks’ posts. You can check out their links at French Fridays with Dorie.