Caramel Orange Scallops
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 large orange, juice of
- 1 lb sea scallops
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon cold butter
Total Time: 20 mins
- Sprinkle the sugar into a small saucepan. Place the pan over medium-high heat and warm the sugar until it starts to melt and color. As soon as you see it turn brown, begin to gently swirl the pan. When the sugar has turned a deep caramel color, about 3 minutes, stand back and add the white wine and orange juice. It may bubble and spatter, so watch out. Turn the heat up to high, stir with a wooden spoon, and boil the sauce until it is reduced by half — you should have about 1/3 cup. Pull the pan from the heat and set it aside.
- Pat the scallops dry between two paper towels.
- Put the saucepan with the caramel sauce over very low heat so that it can warm while you cook the scallops.
- Put a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, pour in 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the scallops, season them with salt and pepper, add a little more oil if needed, and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the scallops are firm on the outside and just barely opaque in the center — nick one to test. Transfer the scallops to the serving platter.
- Check that the caramel sauce is hot — give it more heat if necessary. Pull the pan from the heat and toss in the butter, bit by bit, swirling the pan until the butter is melted and the sauce is glistening. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and drizzle some of the sauce over the scallops and pass the rest at the table.