2011/03/24

Remember when... (Caramel-Orange Scallops w/ Orange Ginger Pasta)

It's funny, in spite of my many food quirks, seafood has always been one of my favorites.  As long as I don't think about how they exist or anything, I am okay...  


As a kid, sometimes a birthday treat would involve a meal out at a restaurant.  If I was really lucky, we would take the hour drive to The City (because EVERYTHING was an hour away - and on a "Friday night" nonetheless) and have dinner at The Red Lobster.  If I was REALLY lucky, that dinner would be followed by a trip to "THE MALL" (at the risk of slightly dating myself, I must add that this was before the advent of "THE MALL", so a trip to that singular shopping place was truly a wondrous thing).  



But back to the food...  I am sure my slightly older, discriminating taste buds would feel differently than my ten or eleven-year old self did about a night out at The Red Lobster.  But I will never forget the joy that each taste of scampi brought as it rolled over my tongue.  The tender bite of meat inside each pocket of batter crusted deep-fried shrimp.  The pleasure of fishing out that sweet morsel from inside the claw of the lobster.  The little medallions of scallop sitting on the side of the plate. 


I can also remember my disbelief when friends would scrunch up their face at the mention of seafood.  (And my thinking "what is wrong with you, people?" - a thought that I still often have, but for different reasons...) 


Which brings us to the present.  A day in which I am now the mother of two teenage daughters whose views on food are as different as night and day.  What one adores, the other despises.  And vice versa.  There are few things as polarizing as food, it seems.  One child's special treat involves anything out of the water.  The other one looks at it as torture. 


Enter caramel-orange scallops...  A dish sure to please one and turn off the other (don't worry, mom had a back up piece of chicken going - no one was going to starve).  Scallops seared to golden and topped with an orange sauce (we never quite made it all the way to the caramel stage...but we won't talk about that, will we???).  Served alongside fresh orange-ginger pasta (rolled out by The Runner Girl herself - because athletes in training need their carbs, don't you know?). 


Overall, a lovely dish.  Maybe next time, I will get around to making sure my caramel reaches the caramel stage?

Orange Ginger Pasta
Adapted from The Pasta Machine Cookbook

1 cup durum semolina or unbleached all-purpose flour (plus additional flour for sprinkling)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Pinch salt
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 egg

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour and spices.  Add egg, pulse briefly.  Slowly add orange juice until dough begins to come together.  You may not need all of the orange juice. 


Remove dough from processor.  Press into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap.  At this point, you can let the dough rest on the counter for ~1/2 hour if you are going to be using right away.  For better results, refrigerate for 1 to 2  hours before rolling (bring to room temperature before shaping). 


Divide dough into ~6 pieces.  Dust with enough flour to keep dough from sticking.  Flatten with a rolling pin - enough so that the dough can pass through the rollers of the pasta machine.  Start with the widest setting and roll until the dough rolls smoothly (fold in half after each roll - you may need to do this several times & if you find your dough is sticking, dust with flour).  Once sheets reach desired consistency (dough should be slightly pliable and smooth), reduce thickness on the machine and run sheets of pasta through.  Repeat until desired thiness has been reached.  (On the KitchenAid, I usually run my fettucine to a thickness of 3 - it's all a matter of personal preference.  Use flour (sparingly) as needed if the dough feels sticky at any time. 

At this point, if you have a cutter attachment you can run the sheets through the cutter.  Or you can hand cut with a knife or a pizza cutter. 

Cook in boiling, salted water for ~3-5 minutes - or until desired doneness.  Don't overcook...  Drain well.  I like to toss with butter right after it's drained.  Good with a dusting of nutmeg & a sprinkle of orange zest. 

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.  Come check out what everyone else has been up to this week!

39 comments:

  1. This pasta looks delicious. Can't wait to try out the recipe!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your memories of The Red Lobster - took me back too. I live, love, love the way you served the scallops with pasta - and I am so impressed that you made your own!

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  3. I so love that you make your own pasta. Oh and Orange Ginger Pasta makes my mouth water.

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  4. What a gorgeous plate...nothing beats homemade pasta! Give the orange sauce another try...it was fabulous :)

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  5. Great looking scallops and your pasta looks so tempting! Thanks for including the recipe.

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  6. Your scallops are gorgeous! And kudos on the homemade pasta (it's one of my favorite things to do!)

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  7. Wow--you got a really great sear on your scallops!

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  8. Orange - ginger pasta? Perfect for these scallops...great idea. Glad runner girl is getting her fill of carbs. I am on the no-seafood band wagon...but can abide scallops a bit. Thought these were very tasty too.

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  9. I love your post. I enjoy getting to know my fellow Doristas and...your pasta is inspiring! Your meal looks great.

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  10. I love your memories on seafood, and how much you loved it. On the opposite end of the spectrum, my caramel almost burned! I'm used to making cups of sugar at a time to coat flan pans, so those two tablespoons cooked way faster than what I thought.

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  11. Your scallops look so beautiful. We had scallops earlier this week but didn't realize this was this week's recipe and made a different version. regretting that now

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  12. Your scallops look amazing! I love most shellfish, especially scallops!

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  13. I'm definitely going to try that orange ginger pasta. It looks amazing!

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  14. Ah yes, dinner at Red Lobster--I remember those days as well. One of my own two daughters, also different as night and day, loved it (the other would just as soon sign up for torture classes).
    Your sauce looks good, even if it didn't reach caramel stage, and the pasta looks fantastic.

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  15. The orange ginger pasta looks like a great match for the citrus note of the scallop had you made the sauce. Lovely dish all around.

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  16. Your scallops look beautifully caramelized and the pasta, wow, very impressive;-) The sauce was yummy:-)

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  17. Your scallops are gorgeous! Such a lovely seared crust you've got going on there. Nice work!

    I've never understood people who don't like seafood. But heck, I'm the daughter of a commercial fisherman so I've been eating seafood since I was in utero.

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  18. I also remember Red Lobster dinners! I'm impressed you made your own pasta. While I enjoyed the scallops, my sauce lacked flavor. I wonder if I had added ginger as you did to your pasta if that would have saved it?

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  19. Loved your post (and beautiful blog by the way), your story is terrific. And loved the photos of your scallops! What a great pairing too! I have to confess, I have a pasta making attachment for my kitchenaid that I bought in a fit of ambition two years ago, and have yet to break out of the box. Yours is totally inspiring. What a great idea!!

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  20. Quick question: I would like to do these tonight, but don't have the recipe with me. Does the caramel sauce need butter? (I would assume so in order to make caramel sauce but am not sure. Because of lent I can't have any, so I'll need to skip for now if butter is necessary Thanks!

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  21. I am just so impressed by anyone who makes pasta! And flavoured pasta! Looks great! My kids are the same, one loves fish and the other complained the scallops and salmon I made to try the sauce with tasted too fishy!

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  22. Beautiful looking scallops and the pasta looks delicious! :)

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  23. Your scallops look so good! But I'm really drooling over your pasta. I've been thinking about getting the KA pasta attachment, and everytime I see someone using it, I get closer to pulling the trigger.

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  24. Um, wow !!! I can not even believe you made a homemade, flavor coordinated pasta to go with this. 2 gold stars at least :) In addition to the wonderful results, I am not sure what I enjoyed more...the trip down Red Lobster lane (I can so relate - Nana and I still talk about those wonderful cheese biscuits that leave a big loving grease mark on the napkin....) or the comment about wrinkling your nose for other reasons. Enjoyed your post as usual.

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  25. Those scallops are cooked perfectly and I am definitely going to make that pasta. Great post.

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  26. Cher-you made orange ginger pasta! Oh my goodness-how delicious!My mom-in-law should've had the scallops with you;)What a gorgeous meal!!:)

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  27. I really enjoyed your post and also miss how almost magical places like Red Lobster and the mall can seem when you are a kid and its your birthday. I always really enjoy your posts and also am so impressed by the homemade pasta! That looks so good!

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  28. Thanks for the encouragement on the KA pasta attachment. I had a hand crank pasta maker at one time -- it was just too much work. But this seems like just the thing.

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  29. In a word, this looks YUM! What a wonderful idea with the pasta.

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  30. I was one of the kids who didn't like seafood. But I did love the mall! I need to make my sauce again too because I burnt my sugar. It happens somtimes!

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  31. Cher - I'm so impressed you make your own pasta! One day, you'll inspire me to try it. I'll bet the ginger was the perfect complement to the scallops & orange flavor!

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  32. Looks great! The pasta sounds amazing!! Wish I could've tried some. :)

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  33. The only way I would want to do these is as a pasta! I think it needs that to stay 'grounded'. Looks lovely!

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  34. The sear on your scallops is lovely and what a great idea to make the ginger pasta to go with them!

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  35. Great post! I remember when going to the Mall was the most exciting thing ever, too. Thanks for sharing the pasta recipe - it looks like the perfect accompaniment for the scallops.

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  36. Looks lovely! The pasta looks fantastic -I really need to make homemade pasta more often. You are giving me a lot of creative pasta flavor ideas!

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  37. Your scallops are seared perfectly. You've inspired me to make pasta again! It's been a long time. Red Lobster used to be a big deal in our house too! Mr. Steak was another treat.

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  38. Homemade pasta is always impressive! Sounds like the perfect pairing for the scallops.

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  39. Looks absolutely gorgeous from here...very nice scallops indeed. I have two teens of the blue variety and they aren't picky about food...that said, I have one who is a scallop fan and one who "I'll pass," is the general opinion. That's okay, I got to have a couple more that way...mine were not as large and lovely as yours, but still very nice.

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