Dorie Greenspan’s Sensational Scallops

A scallop dish that will make any day a whole lot better.

“Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce” should have to be registered as a mind-altering, mood-enhancing dish.

That’s because this dish from Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table” (Houghton Mifflin) is guaranteed to lift your spirits, put a delirious grin on your face and give you happy feet.

That’s how incredibly delicious it is.

Stressed over your job?

Eat this dish.

Stressed about not having a job?

Eat this.

There’s magic in this dish. It’s really just seared scallops, but it’s the thick, syrupy, buttery citrus glaze that gets spooned over that makes it extraordinary. Seriously, one taste and you’ll want to pour it over everything — grilled halibut, broiled shrimp, chicken tenders, pork loin and even French toast.

The sweet, tangy, sticky sauce starts simply with sugar that’s melted in a small saucepan on the stove. This takes a few minutes, but once the sugar starts to melt, it happens fast, so be sure to watch it closely. Once it’s caramelized, add white wine and orange juice. Just before serving, swirl in chunks of cold butter that will give the sauce glorious body and shine.

Then, sit back and enjoy one mind-altering substance that’s not only addicting, but completely legal.

Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce

(Serves 4)

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup dry white wine

Juice of 1 large orange (generous 1/3 cup)

1 pound sea scallops

1/2 to 1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces

Sprinkle sugar into a small saucepan. Place 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 (you can put a drop of sugar on a white plate to test the color), about 3 minutes, stand back and add white wine and orange juice. It may bubble and spatter, so watch out. Turn 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 pan from the heat and set it aside. (You can make the sauce up to 2 days ahead and keep it covered in the refrigerator.)

Pat scallops dry between paper towels. Slice or pull off the little muscle attached to the sides of the scallops. Have a warm serving platter and a small strainer at the ready.

Put 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 scallops, season them with salt and white pepper, and cook, without moving them, for 2 minutes. Flip the scallops over, season with salt and white 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 butter, bit by bit, swirling the pan until the butter is melted and the sauce is glistening. Season sauce with salt and white pepper, then pour it through the strainer into a sauceboat or pitcher.

Drizzle some of the sauce over the scallops and pass the rest at the table.

From “Around My French Table” by Dorie Greenspan

Another Dorie Greenspan Recipe: Sardine Rillettes

Another Scallop Recipe: Ad Hoc’s Caramelized Sea Scallops

Share and Enjoy
Print This Post
Tags »

Date: Friday, 8. April 2011 5:26
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: General, Recipes (Savory), Seafood

Feed for the post RSS 2.0 Comment this post


  1. 1

    Wow, that combination of flavors is awesome! This sauce is really interesting.



  2. 2

    I made these a few weeks ago for French Fridays with Dorie and agree that they are mind alteringly delicious. I am actually making them again tonight for an “all Dorie” dinner party! Cannot wait!

  3. 3

    caramel orange sauce with scallops, goodness what a tempting plate!!


  4. 4

    Oh god I loooove scallops! I need this in my mouth =D.

  5. 5

    It looks simple enough to make. Who knew that an orange and some sugar could take you to such a happy place. :)

  6. 6

    Perfectly caramelized scallops with that tangy-sweet sauce to balance the savory of the scallops! Recently, I have turned so lazy that I just bake my scallops in the oven. Taste good still but not as perfect as caramelized ones over the pan.

  7. 7

    You should join FFwD and cook along with us!

  8. 8

    Ooh, I love scallops so much…unfortunately they are so expensive where I live. Wish I could try this…I suppose I could replace the scallops with chicken?

  9. 9

    This really is a gorgeous recipe! I have to admit I have never cooked scallops, but I would love to try them cooked this way.

  10. 10

    These sound delicious and I can see you guys are lucky enough to have some juicy, fat scallops. Oh my I go mad for these! :D

  11. 11

    Wow what a winning combo. You know what? I think I’m going to have to eat this..

  12. 12

    I can just imagine biting into these succulent scallops..totally mouthwatering :) Delicious!

  13. 13

    I just finished reading that book, and this is one of the dishes I can’t wait to make! The sauce does sound incredible.

  14. 14

    I love this especially because I adore citrus on anything!

  15. 15

    I love scallops! I like them with a toffee apple sauce, so I think I’ll give this a try :)

  16. 16

    I’ve always said that scallops would be the thing I break my kosher rules on, if that day ever came. It’s the single most appealing thing to me of all the forbidden foods. I don’t dream of shrimp, or pork. Only scallops! Because of photos like that! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

  17. 17

    Oh this looks sensational alright! The golden crust, oh so yummy! And perfect I must add :)

  18. 18

    Seared scallops are always magical, and that orange caramelized sauce looks amazing. Your version turned out nice!

  19. 19

    for my tastes, i’ll simply have a bowl of the caramel-orange sauce. is that too weird? oh well. :)

  20. 20

    i need more sauce! i love a lot of sauce (on the side) for my dipping pleasure.
    saving this one. we eat a lot of scallops here

  21. 21

    I really like the scallops. Wrote down recipe so I can try it.

Submit comment

Current ye@r *