Are you a seafood lover? There is just something special about big and beautiful, tender scallops. Whether they are seared in cast iron, baked, part of the most perfect Cioppino (Seafood Stew), or grilled. Honestly, I am fairly certain this is the first time, I even attempted preparing them on the grill. Yes, you can place them directly on the grill. However, I just knew the smokiness from the cedar plank would add a special element to these Peppery Orange Scallops.
Besides the incredible flavor and texture of these Peppery Orange Scallops, I love how quickly and easily this dish came together. Prep all of the ingredients as the planks are soaking. Consider at least four large scallops, per person.
Naturally, I created a short TikTok video making these fabulous gifts from the sea. Be sure to check it out down below. If you have not yet signed up for this social media platform, use my code 5SSIS800K0H06 to create an account.
WHAT ARE SCALLOPS, ANYWAY?
Scallops are bivavlve mollusks (shellfish) with a hinged shell. The part that is most often savored, is called the adductor muscle. This muscle can range in color, and in size. Raw scallops are translucent, and turn opaque when fully-cooked. Furthermore, you will generally see them referred to either sea scallops, bay scallops, diver, and dayboat.
Scallops are a great source of protein. Additionally, they are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and low in calories.
Sea scallops are larger, and more popular, especially in restaurants, as opposed to bay scallops. They tend to be a bit firmer than bay. Short cooking time is all you need. Avoid overcooking, as this can result in a less tender scallop. Sea scallops are the main ingredient in this recipe for Peppery Orange Scallops.
Since sea scallops are caught in cold, deeper waters, they are a bit pricey. Expect to pay close to $25 to $35 per pound.
Bay scallops are caught in cold, shallow waters. They are much smaller than sea scallops. Consequently, not as expensive. Bay scallops are a bit more tender and sweeter, than sea. Cook time is very short.
DIVER AND DAYBOAT SCALLOPS
Diver, or dayboat scallops are not a different variety of scallop. These terms just reference the harvesting technique. Diver scallops are literally “caught” by divers making them more expensive than sea or bay. Dayboat scallops are the most expensive, as they were harvested and sold within 24 hours.
FRESH VS. FROZEN SCALLOPS
If you live in a land-locked area, the scallops that are available to you, were more than likely frozen and then thawed. So, you may want to pick up frozen for freshness.
However, if you live on the coast, grab them fresh. You are the lucky ones!
For the most part, scallops are relatively easy to prep. A gentle rinse will do. Although not required, I like to remove the tiny muscle (foot) on the side of the scallop. When cooked, it tends to be a bit chewy.
As mentioned below, an alternative to grilling the scallops for these Peppery Orange Scallops, is to sear. After rinsing, allow the scallops to dry on paper towels. A dry scallop will create the most perfect sear.
Use either a cast iron pan, or non-stick pan. Get the pan super hot (almost smoking), add a few scallops and allow to form a crust before flipping. Avoid moving them around. Additionally, do NOT crowd the pan. To perfectly sear, requires space. Otherwise, you are just steaming. NOT a good look on a scallop!
The scallops will naturally pull away from the pan, once seared. This will only take a few minutes. Flip. Sear the opposite side for just about another minute.
It’s ok if the scallops are slightly undercooked in the center. This will make for an even more tender preparation.
Scallops can technically be served, fully-cooked, undercooked or even, raw. It’s best to check with your local fishmonger as to whether or not, the scallops you are purchasing can, or should, be served raw.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRY-PACKED AND WET-PACKED SCALLOPS?
Basically, there is no difference, as far as variety. The major difference comes in how the scallops are harvested, and preserved.
Wet-packed scallops, are just that. Shucked on the boat into containers with water, and quite often some chemical for preservation. The scallops will absorb the liquid making them “plump” up. Regardless of the cooking method, wet-packed scallops will typically lose about half of their volume. In my opinion, wet-packed scallops should be avoided, or used only in soups and/or stews.
On the other hand, dry-packed scallops, once shucked are packed dry, without the use of water and/or chemicals for preservation. They will lose little volume during the cooking process. USE dry-packed!
WHAT ARE U10/U12 SCALLOPS?
You may notice for these Peppery Orange Scallops, I refer to using U10/U12 dry-packed scallops. Basically, I am referring to the size. So, you can assume ten to twelve scallops per pound. They are relatively large.
ARE SCALLOPS KETO FRIENDLY/LOW-CARB?
Yes, scallops have about four grams of net carbs. However, this preparation for Peppery Orange Scallops, is NOT keto friendly, given the sugar content of both the orange marmalade and orange juice. As an alternative, prepare the scallops on the cedar plank and finish with a garlic butter sauce. If you so desire, add a touch of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
HOW TO PREPARE SCALLOPS FOR PEPPERY ORANGE SCALLOPS
Although this recipe for Peppery Orange Scallops calls for the use of a cedar plank and grill, you can also prepare the scallops using a searing technique on the stove. Check out my recipe for Seared Scallops in a Cayenne Corn Puree for details on to perfectly sear scallops.
HOW TO SOAK A CEDAR PLANK
I absolutely love the flavor that preparing anything on a cedar plank lends to a dish. Check out my recipe for Cedar Plank Grilled Fish. Just be sure to soak the plank(s) prior to use. In my opinion, at least an hour. You will find a number of recipes claim that fifteen minutes, is sufficient. I wholeheartedly, disagree. How do I know? They will catch on FIRE! You do not want this happen, as it can ruin your meal.
TIP: If you know you are preparing these Peppery Orange Scallops that evening, soak the planks all day. Dinner can be done in just a matter of minutes!
To soak the plank, fully submerge in water. Weigh the plank down with a heavy object. A can will do. Once soaked, the planks are ready for use.
Once the scallops are placed on the plank, you will have no need to flip as they are grilling.
Don’t want to use a cedar plank? Scallops can be grilled directly on the grill grates. However, be sure to fully coat the grate with a non-stick spray. As an alternative, sear in a cast iron pan on the grill! Hmmm…I bet that would be super yummy once the orange sauce is added and caramelizes in the pan!
PEPPERY ORANGE SAUCE
This Peppery Orange Sauce was out of this world good! Honestly, I cannot wait to try it on fish. For heat, I used crushed red pepper flakes. Calabrian chili peppers or fresh diced jalapeños would be great alternatives. Lastly, if you do not enjoy spice/heat, leave it out.
This sauce can be created in a heavy-bottom pot, directly on the grill with the scallops. It only takes a few minutes to come together. Once the scallops are almost finished grilling, apply a few spoonfuls of this incredible sauce. Allow to cook for just another minute.
TO SERVE THE PEPPERY ORANGE SCALLOPS
Steamed rice and sautéed spinach were perfect accompaniments to these Peppery Orange Scallops. This dish is relatively healthy and light. ENJOY!Print
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