Scallops. They fancy. Reserved for black tie, white tablecloth affairs. Pure indulgence, right? you can make the scrumptious miso blood orange scallops at home any time.
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.
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.
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