Maybe it's because I've been spending so much time on the seacoast in Maine lately but I have had a serious craving for seafood. I thought it was a coincidence that I ran across this recipe in a travel journal I kept while in France after just posting the salmon recipe last week. This, too, is a caramelized seafood recipe but this is a richer caramel sauce. It also highlights a true feature of French cuisine which is, of course, the use of very fresh herbs and spices.
Caramelized Sea Scallops with Chives
1 lb. sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
Combine scallops, sugar, salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl. Let rest at room temperature for thirty minutes, tossing occasionally.
Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat until oil just beghins to smoke. Carefully add scallops in a single layer; add the accumulated sauce from the bowl.
Do not stir for five to six seconds while the sugar is caramelizing. The sauce will become brown and bubbly. Continue to sautee for a minute or two until the scallops are just done. Top with the chopped chives and serve immediately over steamed rice.