The air is finally truly frigid in the city, with temperatures ducking into the teens the past few nights. Our radiator’s clanking regularly, the dog’s wearing his sweater, and we can’t leave the house without layers, scarves and gloves.
I’m excited about the new chill and the impending snow, but only one thing about winter elicits excitement from Ryan: citrus fruit. Last winter, he dutifully juiced every grapefruit, blood orange or Cara Cara orange that crossed his path (or his juicer, rather).
Fresh juice is great too, but when we got the season’s first bag of blood oranges the other day, I wanted to do something a little different with them. While Ryan juiced as many as I’d let him, I sought a recipe that would combine these burgundy beauties with a savory favorite.
The end result—a combination of meaty sea scallops, Brussels sprouts, and blood oranges—might sound like an unlikely trio, but it was a perfect example of what good things cold weather can bring.
Scallops with Blood Orange Gastrique
Adapted from Bon Appétit
4 1/2 tsp. sugar
1.5 tsp. Sherry wine vinegar
1/2 c. blood orange juice
3/4 c. chicken broth
2 blood oranges, peeled, separated into segments
1/4 c. fresh parsley leaves
1/4 c. fresh mint leaves
1/4 c. fresh tarragon leaves
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. Brussels sprout leaves
1/2 lb. large sea scallops (about eight)
Kosher salt and pepper
For the gastrique:
1. Place sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until sugar begins to melt. Stir until sugar dissolves, then cook without stirring until deep golden, about two minutes.
2. Gradually add vinegar. Stir until caramel melts, about a minute. Add orange juice; boil until mixture begins to thicken, about two minutes.
3. Add broth; boil until gastrique coats spoon and is reduced to generous 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes.
For the scallops and sprouts:
1. Mix orange segments, parsley, mint, and tarragon in medium bowl. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and toss to coat. Season salad with coarse salt and pepper.
2. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Brussels sprout leaves and toss until just tender, about three minutes. Transfer sprouts to bowl.
3. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil to same skillet and heat until very hot, but not smoking. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Add scallops to skillet and cook until browned and just opaque in center, about a minute per side.
4. Arrange scallops and Brussels sprouts on plates. Drizzle gastrique over scallops. Garnish with salad.
We always love scallops and Brussels sprouts, but the fresh tang of the gastrique, punched up by the Sherry wine vinegar, and the light, herbal salad rounded out this winter meal.
I was surprised at how well the blood oranges played with the savory ingredients. I still love blood oranges in sweets and on their own, but the mixture of the herbs and the oranges is a combination worth repeating again and again, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.