Vincent’s Scallops with Orange Sauce
Vincent’s Scallops with Orange Sauce
-Photography, Susan Powers-
Here’s a lesson: No matter how much you cook, read a recipe through to the end before you begin.
I did not do that when I first made this dish. I was cocky, and chatting (with Susan!), and…I completely blew the orange sauce. If I’d paid attention, I would have realized that it was a sauce buerre blanc, and I would have paid more care to both the heat and the rate at which I whisked in the butter. The sauce wouldn’t have broken, Vincent wouldn’t have noticed that the sauce was broken, I would have been much less embarrassed, and I wouldn’t have had to prepare the dish for a second time.
But here’s the thing: We learned a lot preparing the dish a second time! I included more notes in the recipe below so that you don’t make the mistakes that I did. We learned that if you focus on achieving a nice golden crust on one side of the the scallops, proper doneness will pretty much take care of itself.
We learned that it is no problem whatsoever enjoying this dish twice in one week because it is absolutely delicious.
Given several work-ahead components, this dish would be lovely for a relaxed spring dinner party.
Preparing the leeks and fingerling potatoes.
Searing the scallops to perfection.
Waiting to be made into the fabulous buerre blanc.
Stephanie having her way with the oranges.
Scallops with Orange (Buerre Blanc) Sauce
2 leeks, trimmed, white & light green part only, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
12 oz. fingerling potatoes, sliced thin
1 1/2 c. orange juice (strained of pulp)
salt & pepper
4 oz. butter, 1/2-inch dice, plus 2 Tbsp. more for warming vegetables
1 c. Wondra flour
2 tsp. sherry vinegar or aged red wine vinegar
8 large sea scallops
1 large orange, peeled with a knife until no pith remains, segments cut from the membranes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare an ice bath for the vegetables by filling a large bowl with cold water and plenty of ice.
Bring water to boil in a medium-sized pot. Season water generously with salt and add the leeks to the boiling water. Cook leeks until just-tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer leeks to the ice bath. Return the pot of water to heat and when the water boils again, add salt and cook the potatoes until just tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes to the ice bath as well. Drain the vegetables in a colander and spread them on a clean towel or paper towels. (Can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead; cover loosely.)
In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer orange juice, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 4 Tbsp. Texture will be syrup-y. (Can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead; set aside at room temperature. Bring to a simmer before continuing.) Turn heat to low and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, until butter is completely melted. Continue whisking in butter until all is incorporated and sauce is smooth and glossy. Add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
Season the scallops with salt and pepper and coat only one side of each scallop in flour. Over high heat, warm a large, oven-safe skillet with oil; when oil is smoky add the scallops, flour side down to the pan (do not overcrowd the pan) and transfer to the oven. Roast the scallops for 4-6 minutes. Return the pan to a medium-high burner and have a look – if the scallops are nicely browned and crusty, flip the scallops and sear for 1 minute. If they’re not quite brown enough, sear them for a minute or two and then flip them for a minute.
While the scallops roast, heat another large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and when it melts, stir in leeks and potatoes. Stir to coat in butter and to warm through. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Serve scallops on top of potatoes and leeks. Drizzle with sauce and garnish with orange segments.
We paired this delicious dish and celebrated the launch of “Shooting the Kitchen” with a beautiful bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Perfect.