Scallops. They fancy. Reserved for black tie, white tablecloth affairs. Pure indulgence, right?
Right… except that they’re actually quite affordable if you make them yourself and they take – for real – a few minutes to prepare.
Now, you could always just sear them off with salt and pepper and call it a day. Delicious! But you could also take an extra minute to salvage all that browned goodness in the pan and create a nice sauce. Let’s do it!
When it comes to seafood, citrus is always a safe bet. And since it’s winter and I’ve been stockpiling blood oranges like it’s the end of the world, I decided to make a small dent in the pile.
I mean just look at them! They’re almost too pretty to eat!
I combined the tart, berry-like blood orange juice with some red miso paste for the sauce. If you don’t have red miso paste (or white or yellow, for that matter) it’s a product I’d highly recommend adding to your regular rotation. The red variety has a much stronger, saltier flavor than its white and yellow counterparts, but they all have an interesting, earthy, umami-packed flavor profile that will spice up a wide range of dishes.
I’ve used miso paste in dressings, marinades, soups, sauces… and there are probably a million other ways to use it that I haven’t even considered yet!
So the moral of today’s story is: make scallops at home, and keep your fridge stocked with miso paste! I see now that’s actually two things. But of course if you combine them in this recipe and enjoy a nice dinner at home with little effort or expense, you just might forgive me.
Miso Blood Orange Scallops
- 1/2 teaspoon blood orange zest
- 1/4 cup blood orange juice (from 1 medium orange)
- 2 tablespoons red miso paste
- 1/2 lb dry sea scallops
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, divided
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley
- In a small bowl, whisk together the blood orange zest, juice, and miso paste. Set aside. Warm a large pan over medium-high heat. No seriously, let it get really hot. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and season very lightly with salt and pepper. Add the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan; swirl to melt the butter. Add the scallops and thyme, being sure not to crowd the scallops, and let them get a good sear on the first side (2-3 minutes).
- When the scallops are well browned, flip them over. If you're feeling fancy, tilt the pan slightly and use a spoon to hit each scallop a few times with the fat in the pan. When the scallops are browned on the second side and almost cooked through, transfer them to a plate.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the shallots to the pan. Cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the miso blood orange mixture to the pan, and whisk to combine. Simmer for about 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and whisk in the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter and the parsley. Spoon the sauce over the scallops and serve.