Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce

I rarely cook scallops.  Not because I don’t like them.  I like scallops (especially sea scallops) and don’t shy away from ordering them in restaurants.  No, I rarely make scallops because they seem sort of intimidating and I’m afraid I’d overcook them.  Overcooked scallops are not very good.

Well, one of the fun things about participating in French Fridays with Dorie is trying things that seem intimidating.  And Dorie is great at walking one through the steps so you end up with success.  Such was the case with this week’s FFwD recipe, Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce.  This recipe actually has two intimidating elements (at least to me): caramel and scallops.  But the steps were so simple, and explained very well, that I ended up with a perfect sauce and perfectly-cooked scallops.  In fact, the basic recipe for cooking the scallops is so simple, I will be able to easily apply it to other recipes and sauces.  They are simply cooked in a little olive oil over high heat for two minutes on each side.  The result is wonderfully browned, cooked just-right scallops.

I purchased a bag of frozen scallops from Trader Joe’s, the New England Wild Jumbo Scallops to be exact.  I was a little nervous about using frozen scallops, but these were great!  Nicely sized and they seemed very fresh.

I really loved this dish!  I was so happy with the way my scallops turned out, and the sauce was delicious with them.  I made the Spiced Butter-Glazed Carrots to go on the side (as recommended by Dorie), since I missed making them with the group (I didn’t have the cookbook yet).  The whole family loved the carrots and they will become a regular side dish.

With the Chicken

Now, my husband prefers not to eat scallops so I made him some chicken instead.  I’m sure he would have eaten the scallops had I given them to him, but I knew he would greatly prefer chicken.  I used the poached chicken recipe from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything.  I didn’t taste the sauce with the chicken, but my husband said they went really well together.  In fact, he said this was his favorite FFwD recipe (even after I reminded him about the green beans and cheese and chive bread he liked so much!).  So, don’t be shy about trying the sauce with chicken if you don’t like scallops!

If you’d like to see the recipes for Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce or Spiced Butter-Glazed Carrots, you can find them in Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce

  1. SoupAddict

    Nice sear on the scallops – well done!

  2. Too funny – I had to make a back up piece of chicken for my non-seafood eater. (It’s good to know the sauce is multi purpose).

  3. Great photos and wow, that chicken looks so great!

  4. Looks like a very versatile sauce from everyone’s account. I’ll have to try it with other proteins too.

  5. Your photos are lovely! I loved that you tried the sauce with chicken. This was a really good sauce. Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. I’m glad the pairing with the chicken worked out! I almost see this sweet and sour sauce working with a stir-fry.

  7. I was intimidated by searing the scallops too. I’m glad I did it though because now I know how easy it is! I wasn’t crazy about the sauce though. Your scallops look perfectly seared. Nice job.

  8. I love the idea of that sauce with chicken! Can’t wait to try it!

  9. Great to know about how versatile you found the sauce to be. I read that from other posts and while it was intimidating to me, it turned out pretty darn easy. Iwould love to make it for other items since the scallops were a bit pricey. I enjoyed reading how your family liked the carrots because I flopped when I made this one with the group and everyone else on the blog loved it so much that I think something strange happened in my kitchen. I was thinking about trying them again and your post confirmed that I definitely will give them a 2nd try. Thx !

  10. Anyone who will make back up food has my respect! I can barely crank out one dish a night! Great job.

  11. That first photo is perfect! I made the spiced glazed carrots as well and we loved them as much as the scallops. The sear on your scallops is beautiful.

  12. Teresa

    I think this sauce is worth trying with a number of different proteins – I bet it would be great even with seared tofu. That was very kind of you to cook some chicken for your husband instead. It speaks of more organization that I could probably muster myself, though.

  13. My boyfriend is not a seafood lover like me so he didn’t try this. I thought this sauce would pair well with pork, I already promised I’ll make it for him since he LOVES pork with sweet-sour sauces.

  14. Looks fantastic – I will have to try this with chicken! I loved the scallops, but they’re too pricey for me to purchase all the time. I want to try the carrots at some point too – they look delicious!

  15. Karen

    @Teresa and @TrevorSisBoom – I don’t think I could have pulled off the extra chicken if I hadn’t made the sauce earlier in the day. It also helped that the scallops cooked quickly and I only made a few of those.

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