All it takes is a drizzle to transform something from simple to special.
In less than an hour you can reduce carrot juice, blend it with chipotle chilies and have sufficient condiment to last many, many, many a spectacular meal. The syrup, with its intensified sweetness and more than slight kick, also works well drizzled over baby-cut carrots sauteed in butter.
- For the carrot-chipotle syrup
- 2 quarts (8 cups) carrot juice
- 1 teaspoon chopped chipotle chili peppers in adobo, or to taste
- 3/4 cup grapeseed oil or other mild-flavored vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- For the scallops
- Grapeseed oil or other mild-flavored vegetable oil
- 3/4 pound sea scallops
For the syrup: In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the carrot juice to a gentle simmer and reduce until almost all of the liquid has evaporated and only orange solids remain, about 45 minutes.
Using a heat-resistant rubber spatula, scrape the carrot residue into a blender. Add the chipotle in adobo and puree until completely combined. With the motor still running, begin to add the oil in a slow but steady stream. When the mixture thickens slightly, add the oil a little more quickly to prevent the sauce from breaking. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the scallops: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot but not smoking.
Pat the scallops dry. Add a few of the scallops to the skillet, being careful not to crowd them, and cook, without moving them, until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 more minutes. Transfer the scallops to a plate; repeat with the remaining scallops.
To serve: Divide the scallops between 2 plates and drizzle with the syrup. Serve hot. (Cover and refrigerate the remaining syrup for up to 2 weeks.)
Adapted from "Simply Ming: Easy Techniques for East-Meets-West Meals" by Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm (Clarkson Potter, 2003).
Tested by Renee Schettler.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.