French Fridays with Dorie: scallops with caramel-orange sauce

I love scallops and jump at the chance to order them when we eat out but haven’t cooked them much at home so when I saw this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe was Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce (pp 317 – 319), I was excited.  Then, reading through the recipe, I got to the part where Dorie says “it takes less time to make than a hamburger” and I was even more keen to make this dish – especially as it certainly does not LOOK like a quick dish to prepare (the picture on  p 318 will make your mouth water).

I love that you can make the sauce up to 2 days ahead so that if you were serving this for a dinner party, or even a fancy weeknight meal, it literally takes about 10 minutes to put together.

I was not in a position to get my hands on any fresh scallops (my grocery trips keep me closer to home these days and I just wasn’t up for a trip to the St Lawrence Market where I am sure they would have had wonderful ones) but we lucked out with some President’s Choice Wild Nova Scotian sea scallops hailing from the cold Atlantic waters of Georges Bank.  They are frozen at sea, ensuring freshness and I was impressed at how firm they were once thawed.  I served them simply on a bed of rice and with some butter sautéed purple carrots finished with a touch of honey which offset the acid from the orange caramel perfectly (no photos of that since it was dark when we ate dinner – these three were my “practice” dish. Yes, I cheat sometimes like that!)

We both loved these and I would not hesitate to put them on a dinner party menu. They are simple to make, look gorgeous and taste divine. A winning dish in my book!

Want to join French Fridays with Dorie? Join here.

French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada.  Go on, treat yourself – join us in 2011!  There are some GREAT recipes coming up in April!

79 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: scallops with caramel-orange sauce

  1. Mr. Neil March 25, 2011 at 08:53 #

    Yes, these were a star.

    Living in Toronto, I actually advised Mardi I felt better about frozen scallops versus “fresh”. Seriously, with the closest sea coast perhaps 1,000km away, how “fresh” can fresh BE? In my Fish Cuisine course at GBC, the chef actually suggested you’re better off with good frozen scallops if you cannot be assured your fresh are indeed fresh. So no surprise for me on the texture. (Mardi properly dried them so they nicely crisped up when cooking as well.)

    Back to the wine pairing.

    Immediately went for the Loire on this one. Grape of choice was a Chenin Blanc – Cave de Montlouis Sec 2007. Medium honeycomb colour. Nose of citrus peel, orange rind, stone fruit. Extra dry, nice and crisp and of course the nose matched the scallop sauce very well.

    If you can’t get something from the Loire, in general I’d suggest cool climate, higher acid. A crisp Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc will work, though less so on the latter. Not really a great pick for Chardonnay. (I’d also love to try a Rousanne with this – perhaps a northern Rhone white. Harder to find that grape variety elsewhere.) Stay away from rose on this one.

    I have to be honest…most of California would be far down on my list. For Australia, Tasmania will have some nice pairings.

  2. claudia lamascolo March 25, 2011 at 09:03 #

    What rich color! I just love this glaze its simply gorgeous nice job on them!

  3. Belinda @zomppa March 25, 2011 at 09:47 #

    This caramel sauce is absolutely delightful! I adore scallops and this is such a beautiful, elegant dish.

  4. Happy When Not Hungry March 25, 2011 at 09:52 #

    This dish looks awesome! So impressed. Nice job!

  5. Liz March 25, 2011 at 10:11 #

    I agree…perfect for company! I love the pop of your scallops on the rice…beautiful~

  6. StephIrey March 25, 2011 at 10:14 #

    I love the beautiful color of your scallops and they look so good nestled on their bed of rice! The carrots sound divine too. (And we all have our little cheats, somtimes, don’t we.)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 28, 2011 at 18:18 #

      I never photograph the food as we are about to eat it – always save some for the next day or do it beforehand.

  7. Jen @ keepitsimplefoods March 25, 2011 at 10:18 #

    Oh la la! These look magnifique!

  8. Linda Makiej March 25, 2011 at 10:24 #

    This sounds fantastic!! I will try this soon!!

  9. Island Vittles March 25, 2011 at 10:25 #

    The sauces gives the scallops such a wonderful colour! Theresa

  10. Angela@RecipesFromMyMom March 25, 2011 at 10:36 #

    I use frozen scallops more often than fresh, because of the cost, and they never disappoint. With a sauce this good, nobody would even care if they’re fresh or frozen. Really beautiful photos!

  11. Viviane Bauquet Farre / Food and Style March 25, 2011 at 10:43 #

    Your scallops look gorgeous! I bet they tasted as good as they look. Kudos Mardi!

  12. Paula March 25, 2011 at 10:57 #

    Such a pretty presentation! My Mom would have enjoyed this post. She absolutely loved scallops.

  13. Adriana March 25, 2011 at 11:31 #

    I love the idea of serving with white rice and the carrots. Makes for a refined sweet-and-sour stir fry! I continue to marvel at the recipes from Around My French Table – how can something so simple to pull off yield such amazing flavors?

  14. Speckle of Dirt March 25, 2011 at 11:38 #

    Hi! I’m visiting via Ethan’s site! Scallops are a face I’n my house too! I’m amazed how they are often paired up with the essence of Orange. There is a restaurant nearby called The Barking Frog that has an amazing recipe (which they shared!) for Scallops. Your post inspired me to go and get the cookbook! Love all things French!

  15. Magic of Spice March 25, 2011 at 11:43 #

    These are so lovely and the sauce sounds delightful!

  16. Denise@There's a Newf in My Soup March 25, 2011 at 13:46 #

    Hi Mardi – Nicely done, as always, with stunning photos. I was thinking I should have bought a few extra scallops for photography purposes but, in the interests of my blog, we enjoyed them cold 😉

  17. Steph@stephsbitebybite March 25, 2011 at 14:01 #

    I love your pictures!! These scallops are so droolworthy!! Such a great recipe!

  18. Erin @epiCURIOUS ERIN March 25, 2011 at 14:21 #

    Hi Mardi,
    Looks great! I haven’t gotten to this one yet but I make scallops weekly at the least so I’ve been eyeing it. My question is, with scallops being inherently sweet, how is it that the caramel sauce doesn’t push it too far? Iv’e always been wary of caramel and scallops. Is the citrus from the orange really that strong?


    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 28, 2011 at 18:09 #

      The citrus isn’t strong but neither is the sweet from the sugar – it’s a perfect blend!

  19. Lora @cakeduchess March 25, 2011 at 14:33 #

    I LOVED this recipe too! I just made it today for us for lunch and the in-laws were also impressed. Your last photo is just gorgeous!!

  20. sarina March 25, 2011 at 15:10 #

    Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous!

  21. lo March 25, 2011 at 15:13 #

    even if the concept for this recipe didn’t sound so good, I’d make it just for the LOOKS. Simply gorgeous. And I can’t envision it wouldn’t be delicious to boot. Love that Dorie!

  22. DessertByCandy March 25, 2011 at 16:36 #

    Hi fellow Torontonian Dorista! Good to know that the PC product produces good result. I’ll have to give it a try. I passed on this week’s recipe because I couldn’t get around to the good markets for fresh sea scallops…

  23. Kathy March 25, 2011 at 16:50 #

    Your photo’s are lovely and your dish looks so good. Glad you enjoyed it. This dish has moved into my go-to recipe file.

  24. Bonita March 25, 2011 at 18:00 #

    They look gorgeous Mardi! For some reason, this recipe just didn’t work out for me. I just couldn’t get the sauce to work for me. Sugar seized on me twice when I added the liquid to the hot caramel. Strange. I eventually gave up.

  25. kitchenarian March 25, 2011 at 18:32 #

    What a beautiful job you did with this dish. I love your pictures. I can’t wait to make it again.

  26. Betsy March 25, 2011 at 21:22 #

    Those scallops look gorgeous on the very white rice. I loved the seared scallops, but wasn’t wild about the sauce.

  27. Cher March 25, 2011 at 21:37 #

    Lovely picture. These were just the epitome of simple elegance.

  28. Anna Johnston March 26, 2011 at 00:39 #

    I adore the sound of the caramel orange sauce paired with the delicate flavours of scallops, will be making this one soon. I’m with you on this Mardi, I can never resist scallops when I dine out either & they’re so easy & quick to do at home too. Love your choices of buying frozen too, how much fresher can they be frozen at sea like that huh 🙂

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 28, 2011 at 18:06 #

      I love the idea of keeping scallops in my freezer so I could make dishes like this easily and quickly!

  29. Susan March 26, 2011 at 06:15 #

    Truly elegant presentation! I loved these, too.

  30. Jen Laceda March 26, 2011 at 10:43 #

    Hey Mardi,
    It’s moving day for us today. We’re back in the Swansea-High Park area! Closer to the Cheese Boutique, once again! I’m blog surfing while watching our movers move.
    I must say, after this move, I’m going to buy Dorie’s book – French Table and the baking book! I didn’t want to subject the movers to more books. I already have 15 boxes of books and they always complain about them!! Hahaha!
    Thanks for the tip on PC Scallops! St Lawrence gets expensive!

  31. Jess March 26, 2011 at 12:14 #

    Oh my god, these look delicious.

  32. Rochelle (Acquired Taste) March 26, 2011 at 12:17 #

    I’m drooling over here! I haven’t had a good scallop in a long time and you’re making all the harder to wait for my next one with this beautiful dish 🙂

  33. Allison March 26, 2011 at 12:54 #

    Your scallops look perfect! It really is the perfect impress your guests recipe!

  34. brilynn March 26, 2011 at 14:15 #

    I have Dorie’s wonderful book but haven’t cooked nearly enough out of it yet. Every time I see the recipes pop up for FFwD I remind myself that I really need to change that. These scallops look awesome!

  35. K March 26, 2011 at 19:11 #

    Your ‘practice scallops look fantastic 🙂 I can only imagine the dinner ones looked even better!

  36. Tricia S. March 26, 2011 at 19:45 #

    These really were an amazing surprise. Esp since I was previously not a scallop fan. But mostly because when I read what was in the recipe…I just couldn’t “feel” it. Thank goodness for FF, or I would have simply turned the page 🙂 Your photos are stunning and I love the bed of rice idea.

  37. Ethan March 26, 2011 at 21:49 #

    Even though they are “simple” to prepare, you did these scallops proud! I can see why all the photo sites accepted these pics, they’d have no reason not to, they look elegant, clean and ready to eat!

  38. marla March 26, 2011 at 22:55 #

    There is no way I would want to miss a dinner party if these scallops were served. Beautiful!

  39. Saeng March 26, 2011 at 23:04 #

    Your scallops look so great! Now, I’m convinced to check out the book.

  40. Conor @ Hold the Beef March 27, 2011 at 07:17 #

    Lovely sear on these! Also love that you can do the sauce in advance – anything to keep you enjoying a drink with your guests instead of faffing around in the kitchen.

    I seem to have run out of scallops in my freezer. Good thing I’ll be heading up to Gero soon where my lovely Dad can’t let me leave without an esky full of treats 🙂

    (I hope this comment finally goes through…. thousandth times a charm?)

  41. Chef Pandita March 28, 2011 at 01:39 #

    Your scallops look amazing!

  42. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction March 28, 2011 at 16:43 #

    This post really makes me wish that I liked scallops… I have tried them many times (at really good restaurants), but I just can’t get past the texture. I’ll have to try the caramel-orange sauce on chicken instead.

  43. Beth (OMG! Yummy) March 28, 2011 at 17:38 #

    Love your photos and the scallops really look delectable. I skipped this week’s recipe because my husband can’t eat scallops but I’ll have to explore it – love the idea that the sauce is make-ahead so there must be something else I can use it for. Just love the idea of caramel-orange sauce!

  44. penny aka jeroxie March 29, 2011 at 21:59 #

    Winning dish just because they are scallops 🙂

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