This recipe makes a delicious appetizer, or you could double the quantities and serve it as an entrée with rice or with pan-fried potatoes. It would also be nice with Swiss rösti (like hash browns) on the side. The citrus sauce is really great with the scallops and it is made with oranges, tangerines, sugar, coriander, and vinegar, for a bittersweet flavor. Sprinkling chives over the finished scallops adds a nice herby flavor which works well with the citrus sauce.
This flavorful appetizer is perfect if you are having friends over and you wish to impress them with your culinary finesse. When you serve this, they will think you have spent hours in the kitchen perfecting the dish, not knowing how easy this is to make. Scallops are simple to cook and just need to be seared on both sides to give them a crunchy exterior. The scallops should be heated all the way through, but still juicy.
Overcooked scallops will be tough and chewy, so just give them a minute or two per side. Larger ones might need double that, but you will be able to see when they are done. If they are dark brown or black you have overcooked them. If you are new to cooking scallops, you might wish to have some extra ones so you can throw any burnt ones out and cook fresh ones instead.
- 16 sea scallops
- 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 4 tangerines
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 oranges
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and black pepper, as needed
- Grate a teaspoon of orange zest, and then juice all the oranges and the tangerines into a bowl.
- Sprinkle the sugar in a skillet and cook it over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until it turns dark amber.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the coriander, vinegar, citrus juices, and zest.
- Return the skillet to a medium heat and boil the mixture for 8 minutes or until thick.
- Remove it from the heat and whisk in the butter, and then keep it warm.
- Remove the tough foot muscles from the scallops.
- Season the scallops on 1 side with salt and black pepper.
- Heat the oil in a big cast-iron skillet over a medium heat.
- Add the scallops seasoned-side down and sear for 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Flip them over and cook for 2 minutes or until golden on the other side too.
- Divide the scallops between 4 serving bowls.
- Drizzle them with the citrus sauce and sprinkle the chives on top.
These lovely scallops are great to serve as an appetizer because they please the palate without being too filling or rich. The delicate sauce has a really good flavor – a nice combination of sweet and tart. Scallops are not hard to cook although many home cooks avoid them because they are unsure exactly how to cook scallops for a perfect result. It could not be easier. Once your oil is hot, add the scallops and cook them on one side until golden brown, then flip them over and do the other side the same way. They only take a few minutes.
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