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French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!)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 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie: scallops with caramel-orange sauce”

  1. 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.

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  2. 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.)

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  3. 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!

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  4. 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?

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  5. 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!

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  6. 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?

    Thanks!

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  7. 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!

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  8. 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…

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  9. 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.

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  10. 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.

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  11. 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 🙂

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  12. 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!

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  13. 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!

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  14. 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.

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  15. 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!

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  16. 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?)

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  17. 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!

    Reply

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