Thursday, February 24, 2011

Do You Gastrique?

Oh, you don't.  Well, I do.  Yeah yeah, I'm super dooper fancy in the kitchen now.  Got my copy of Bon Appetit and well, as we all know, that makes you nearly a professional!

Ok, just kidding.  I was proud of myself though.  Do I know what a gastrique is technically?  No.  But I do know that I heated some sugar and then added vinegar and it got hard (and I got scared) and then it got soft again and I added the other stuff and let it reduce (for a heck of a lot longer than indicated in the recipe) and then it tasted really good.  So that is my definition of gastrique.  For now...

Bon Appetit's Scallops with Blood Orange Gastrique.  C'mon, you know that sounds damn good!

3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Sherry wine vinegar
1 cup fresh blood orange juice (from about 6 oranges)
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth

Scallops and brussels sprouts:
2 blood oranges, peeled, separated into segments
1/4 cup each (lightly packed) fresh parsley leaves, fresh mint leaves, and fresh tarragon leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Coarse kosher salt
8 ounces brussels sprouts, leaves removed from core, core discarded
20 large sea scallops, side muscles removed

Note: My supermarkets did not have fresh tarragon, so I added 1/2 tsp of dried.
Place sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until sugar begins to melt. Stir until sugar dissolves, then cook without stirring until deep golden, about 5 minutes. Gradually add vinegar (mixture will harden). Stir until caramel melts, about 1 minute. Add orange juice; boil until mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Add broth; boil until gastrique coats spoon and is reduced to generous 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes.

Mix orange segments, parsley, mint, and tarragon in medium bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; toss to coat. Season salad with coarse salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add brussels sprouts and toss until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer brussels sprouts to bowl. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to same skillet. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Add scallops to skillet and cook until browned and just opaque in center, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Arrange scallops and brussels sprouts on plates. Drizzle gastrique over scallops. Garnish with salad.
Positively delicious!  This was an adult's only night, but I do think my guys would've eaten the scallops and maybe a sprout or two since I broke them down into leaves.  Neither of us are into brussel sprouts, but breaking them down this way and cooking the living daylights out of them made them much easier to get down.  My husband even went back for seconds!

Any first timer "fancy" cooking success stories out there?


  1. It looks positively delish! I have never heard of Gastrique before.
    Bon Appetit is such a lovely mag- they have some very nice dishes. I feel like a fancy French chef whenever I cook/bake something from it too! :)

  2. I loveee scallops. this looks so yummy. x

    p.s. I'm having a giveaway on my blog for a $50 giftcard to PTAK apparel if you'd like to check it out. :) x

  3. Thanks girls. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels a bit fancier when cooking out of Bon Appetit.