Seared Scallops with Orange Salt with Caramelized Endives
The inspiration for this seared scallops dish comes from a recipe by Lionel Lévy. The following has been minimally adapted.
Fine Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black or White Pepper
Dry Sea Scallops
preferably diver scallops
Prepare the Orange Salt:
The day before, or longer if your humidity is a bit high, finely grate the zest off the oranges and spread on a sheet of waxed paper to dry.
Reserve the oranges.
After the zest is dry, measure the amount and add a 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt for every 1 teaspoon dried zest. Mix it well and set aside.
Prepare the Endives and the Orange Beurre Blanc:
Bring 1 quart of water to a boil and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Add the whole endives and reduce the heat; simmer the endives for 45 minutes.
Drain and set aside to cool.
Heat two tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Slice the endives in half lengthwise, and sprinkle the cut sides with salt, pepper, and sugar.
Place them cut side down in the melted butter and allow them to cook for 15-20 minutes until nicely caramelized.
While the endives are braising, squeeze the juice from the reserved oranges, and strain into a small saucepan.
Over medium heat, cook the juice until it has reduced to about 3 tablespoons; it should be thick. Set aside.
Cook the Scallops:
Pat scallops dry and remove the tough muscle.
Lightly salt and liberally pepper the scallops on both sides.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat.
Sear the scallops until golden on the first side then flip and cook another minute or two on the second side.
While they are cooking, reheat the endives and bring the orange syrup to a simmer.
Add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter to the orange syrup a bit at a time, whisking to emulsify and create an orange beurre blanc.
Place some of the beurre blanc in the center of 4 plates, and top with three scallops per plate.
Drizzle remaining beurre blanc over the scallops and sprinkle well with the orange salt. I added extra salt around the edge of the plate - perfect for dipping.
Divide the endives between 4 side plates.
Note: the salt loses a lot of flavour with time - don't make more than 1 day in advance!
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