This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe looks and sounds like just the sort of haute cuisine you’d expect in a French cookbook. But in fact it’s surprisingly simple and straightforward.
Like the semolina cake, this recipe starts with a simple caramel syrup. And like the cake, you have to be really careful not to burn the sugar when making the caramel sauce.
Two tablespoons of sugar isn’t a lot, and once it starts to liquefy, it can quickly go from melted to burnt. So I had my wine and orange standing by, and added them as soon as the sugar was melted and well-colored. I cooked the mixture down until it was a deep amber and had reduced by about half.
I set the caramel sauce aside while I made the scallops. This part of the recipe surprised me. I rarely cook seafood at home, and I always think that it is an involved process. In this case, the scallops couldn’t have been quicker or easier. After heating olive oil in a pan, I added the scallops, seasoned them with salt and white pepper, and cooked them for two minutes on each side.
I plated the scallops with the warm caramel sauce and some peas for a simple, yet elegant dinner.
This was another wonderful dish from Around My French Table. It wasn’t as sweet as I expected, and unlike Dorie, I found the scallops — rather than the caramel — to be the star. I probably wouldn’t have chosen this recipe on my own, but I’m glad I tried it. I’m not sure I’ll make it again, but if nothing else, it reminded me of how easy and delicious scallops can be.