Sicilian-Style Citrus Scallops

This recipe is a quick, delicious and relatively fool-proof way to serve scallops. The secret is to cook the scallops very quickly so that they retain their juices. The fresh herbs add a delicate background flavor to the pungent, citrusy sauce. This dish is one of our favorites for an Italian-style Christmas Eve. Click here to see the whole menu.

Sicilian-Style Citrus Scallops
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  • Ingredients:
  • 1 lb bay scallops
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • For the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Preparation:
Combine the orange juice, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, oregano and orange zest in a small bowl and set aside.

Pat the scallops dry. Combine the flour, salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a plastic bag. Add the scallops and shake to coat.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the scallops from the flour mixture with tongs, shaking off all excess flour. Add them to the hot oil in a single layer and cook, turning frequently, until they develop a light golden color and turn opaque, about 1-1/2 minutes. Transfer cooked scallops to a serving platter.

Note: For best results don't overcrowd the pan. Cook the scallops in two batches and add a little extra oil to the second batch.

Deglaze the pan with the juice-herb mixture, and cook until the liquid begins to thicken from the residual flour, about 1-1/2 minutes.

Return the scallops to the pan, along with any juices that may have accumulated on the plate. Stir to coat with the sauce and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Serving Suggestion:
Spoon the scallops and sauce over freshly cooked angel hair pasta that has been tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

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