according to wikipedia, “saffron, long the world’s most expensive spice by weight, is native to southwest asia.
and we totally lucked out when our friend went to asia & brought us back a small fortune’s worth.
::hi mary! thanks so much!::
for those of you who don’t have a mary, it’s worth the investment. sure it costs more than your average spice, but it brings a subtle & unique flavor to whatever you put it in. like this dish. and it usually takes just a pinch or so to do the trick, so don’t worry, you wont be dumping $20 worth of it into one meal.
from food network (4 servings)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
a pinch (about 1/8 teaspoon) saffron
1/2 cup mayonnaise
salt to taste
about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12-16 large sea scallops
freshly ground black pepper
1. over medium heat in a small saucepan, heat orange juice and saffron until simmering. simmer for about 2 minutes, until the saffron has infused the juice. remove from heat, stir in orange zest and let the saffron infuse & cool a little bit.
2. in a small bowl, whisk together the cooled orange juice mixture & mayonnaise until thoroughly combined. season with salt, to taste & set aside.
3. in a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. rinse the scallops & PAT. DRY. this is a crucial step to get a good sear on your scallops, it won’t happen if they’re wet.
4. once the oil is hot & rippling, add the scallops. DO. NOT. MOVE. THEM. for at least 2 minutes. no peeking. no shuffling around the pan. NADA. if you insist on shuffling them around in the pan, they will not sear, will not get that good caramelization on the outside. after 2 minutes, take a peek at the bottom of one. if it’s a nice rich, dark, golden color, go ahead and flip them. leave alone on this side until cooked through, around 2-3 more minutes.
5. remove the scallops from the pan, drizzle with aioli & serve.