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Seared Scallops Coquilles Saint-Jacques

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.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 oranges preferably organic
  • Fine Sea Salt
  • Sugar
  • 4 large Endives
  • 8 tbsp Unsalted Butter divided
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black or White Pepper
  • 12 Dry Sea Scallops preferably diver scallops

Instructions
 

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.

Final Presentation:

  • 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.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

Note: the salt loses a lot of flavour with time - don't make more than 1 day in advance!
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