This recipe takes the rich flavor of bay scallops and turns up the volume with almond flour (finely ground almonds) and thinly sliced almonds (hazelnuts work well, too). For balance, a touch of orange juice adds a light note and brightens the dish. It makes a great plated first course for a seated meal or a terrific party appetizer--just place a single scallop on a soup spoon and drizzle with sauce and nuts.
1/2 cup almond (or all-purpose) flour
1 pound (about 70) bay scallops, side muscles removed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds, plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 orange, cut supreme (skin and membrane removed)
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium-size bowl, combine flour and scallops. In a medium-size sauté pan, warm butter and oil over high heat. Shake excess flour from scallops and brown well on flat tops and bottoms--about 1 minute per side. Remove to a plate.
Add shallot, almonds, and parsley to pan and cook over medium heat until nuts are lightly browned. Add orange juice and stock and raise heat. Cook until thickened. Add orange segments. Return scallops to pan and toss in sauce to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with extra almonds and parsley.