Succulent Scallops in a Carrot, Orange and Cardamom Sauce

Succulent Scallops in a Carrot, Orange and Cardamom Sauce

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Located in Sand City, California, I took a cooking class at "The Kitchen" with Chef Todd Fisher. This colorful and flavorful dish was very easy to prepare, and makes a beautiful "ta-da" presentation at the dinner table. The scallops were succulent and perfectly seared, and the sauce was flavorful with just the right notes of cardamon. The dish is served with a shaved asparagus salad, made with a light vinaigrette for a nice flavor contrast to the sweet of the scallops and carrot juice. Both recipes are included. Chef Todd is the proprietor of Chef Todd Food Concepts, Monterey County's premier caterer, restaurant specialist and consultant. To contact him or send your comments, e-mail

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  • 1

    cup carrot juice

  • ½

    cup dry vermouth

  • 3

    T. orange juice

  • T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1

    small shallot

  • ¼

    tsp. salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2

    T. olive oil

  • 2

    T. chilled unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

  • tsp. ground cardamom

  • 4-6

    large sea scallops

  • Shaved asparagus salad:

  • 6

    spears large asparagus (snapped off at the fibrous ends)

  • 2

    T. chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

  • 1

    small shallot slivered

  • 2

    T. champagne vinegar

  • Zest of ½ an orange

  • 1

    tsp. Dijon mustard

  • ¼

    tsp. coarse sea salt

  • ¼

    tsp. cracked black pepper

  • 2

    T. extra virgin olive oil


Steps: In a medium saucepan, combine carrot juice, ¼ cup vermouth, orange juice, lemon juice, shallot and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat just enough to maintain a steady boil. Cook until slightly thickened (it should resemble the consistency of pulpy orange juice) and reduced to about ½ cup. 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat, and very gently simmer the carrot reduction. Whisk in butter one piece at a time, waiting until each piece is melted and incorporated before adding another. The sauce should be thickened enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Return the sauce to a simmer, whisking constantly. Add the ground cardamom and remove from heat. Heat oven to 175 degrees. Turn off the oven, and place a platter in it to warm. If the scallops have small, loosely attached, rectangular pieces of white muscle on their sides, pull them off and discard. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and season all sides lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan over high heat until it is very hot and smoking. Using tongs, carefully place the scallops flat side down in the pan. Let the scallops cook undisturbed until they are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn, and cook until the other side is browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer scallops to warmed platter. Reduce heat to medium, and pour in remaining ¼ cup vermouth. Scrape up browned bits, then add carrot sauce and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly. Taste, and adjust seasoning. For a smooth texture, pass sauce through a very fine strainer. If the sauce begins to separate or the butter comes to surface in droplets, blend the sauce for a few seconds using an immersion blender. Divide scallops among warmed dinner plates, and pour carrot sauce around them. Top with Shaved Asparagus Salad and enjoy! For the Shaved asparagus salad: Steps: In a medium bowl, whisk together the champagne vinegar, orange zest, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil to emulsify. Using your peeler, shave the spear of asparagus over the dressing and toss to marinate slightly. Add chopped parsley and shallot. Let set till ready to serve. This should be done no more than 15 minutes before serving.


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