Seared Scallops with Polenta,
Orange-Fennel Sauce, and
Crispy Fried Leeks
This recipe is easy if you take it in stages. First, do all of
your preparation for the Orange-Fennel Sauce, then fry up the leeks.
(If you can’t find leeks, use fresh spring onions.) Prepare
the polenta and keep it warm. Next sear the scallops and keep them
warm, then prepare the Orange-Fennel Sauce. Divide the polenta in
the middle of four plates, surround it with six scallops per plate,
the spoon the sauce over and top with some crispy leeks or onions.
Everyone will be convinced you spent the winter studing cooking
24 large dry-pack sea scallops
1/4 cup olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger,
2 heads fennel, core removed, julienne, fronds reserved (see recipe
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 oranges, sectioned, pith removed
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (no seeds please)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
Parmesan Polenta (recipe follows)
Crispy Fried Leeks (optional garnish) (recipe
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over a medium heat and sear the
scallops for about 2 minutes on both sides, until light brown. Scallops
should be medium-rare. Set aside.
Drain excess oil from pan, add shallots and sauté until tender
and brown. Add ginger, garlic, and julienned fennel and toss lightly.
(Fennel fronds will be used in biscuit recipe, below.) Add wine
and continue cooking until fennel is tender, about 5 minutes, and
wine is almost completely reduced. Add orange juice, salt and pepper
to taste. When orange juice comes to a boil, whip in butter and
remove from heat and add orange sections. To serve, place polenta
in center of plate, arrange scallops around polenta, spoon fennel-orange
sauce over and, if desired, garnish with crispy fried leeks.
Source: Coastal Cooking with John Shields
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