Delicate, sweet scallops quickly seared and served with a rich but tangy butter sauce.
Remove any remaining side muscle, as shown in the video. Place the scallops on a paper towel-lined plate and reserve in a refrigerator.
Using a knife, remove the top and bottom of the orange. Continue to cut away the peel as close to the flesh as possible. To finish, cut away the individual segments. You will need about 3-5 orange segments per dish.
Pick the nicest fennel fronds (4 per serving) and reserve for garnishing.
Using a mandolin or chef's knife, thinly slice the fennel lengthwise (about three pieces per dish) and reserve for garnishing.
Preheat the pan to 325°F/162°C (medium) then add the butter. Allow to melt completely.
Add the shallots and sauté for 20 seconds. Stir frequently.
Reduce the temperature to 230°F/ 110°C. Add the white wine and peppercorns and reduce for 30 seconds or until almost all of the wine has evaporated.
Reduce the heavy cream for 1 minute and 40 seconds until the cream forms large bubbles and begins to thicken. Stir occasionally.
Turn off the burner before gradually adding the butter while vigorously whisking until the sauce has thickened.
Whisk in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt.
Pour the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl. Thoroughly wash and dry the pan before cooking the scallops.
Add the oil and preheat the pan to 450°F/232°C (high). Tilt the pan to coat evenly.
Using a paper towel thoroughly dry the scallops on all sides.
Lightly season both sides of the scallops with kosher salt.
Place the scallops in the pan with the nicest, flattest side facing down, making sure to distribute them evenly. Sear for 3 minutes until the scallops are golden brown.
Reduce the temperature to 350°F/176°C, and flip the scallops. Quickly add the reserved butter or oil, thyme, and garlic. Baste the scallops by spooning the aromatic butter over the scallops and cook for 40 seconds.
Transfer the scallops to a paper towel lined tray or plate. Finish the scallops with a pinch of fleur de sel.
Spoon the sauce in the center of each dish before topping with the seared scallops. For a professional touch, finish the scallops with orange wedges, shaved fennel, and fennel fronds.
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