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Serves 4

Because sauteed scallops need high heat, use vegetable oil, canola, or another neutral oil so you won't burn the shellfish. Before you cook these sea scallops, remove the tendon on each round, which is a small, but tough, tag on the side, and can be identified by its fibers, which run in the opposite direction. Remove it with a soft pinch and gentle tug. Then dry the scallops on paper towels for about 10 minutes, five minutes on each side. Have all the ingredients for the scallops ready, but first you need to cook the fennel garnish with white wine and blood orange juice. Keep the fennel warm while you quickly saute the scallops. They start in hot oil in a heavy-based skillet, then you add butter to the pan, let it brown, tip the pan, and spoon the browned butter over the scallops to give them extraordinary flavor.

FENNEL

½cup slivered almonds
2tablespoons vegetable oil, or another neutral oil
1 bulb fresh fennel, trimmed, halved, and thinly sliced (save a few fronds for garnish)
Salt, to taste
½ shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
½cup white wine
½tablespoon butter
Juice of 1 blood orange

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

2. In a small baking dish, spread the almonds. Toast them in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring several times, or until they are toasted; set aside for the garnish.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and when it is hot, add the fennel and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until it starts to brown. Add the shallot, continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the garlic and thyme leaves and cook, stirring often, 1 minute more.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the wine and stir well to deglaze the pan. Return the pan to the heat and let the mixture cook for 3 minutes more.

5. Add the butter, stirring constantly, until it melts. Add the orange juice, remove from the heat, and stir well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.

6. Transfer the fennel mixture to a warm serving platter; set aside in a warm place, loosely covered with foil, while you prepare the scallops.

SCALLOPS

pounds sea scallops
Salt, to taste
2tablespoons vegetable oil, or another neutral oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 blood orange, cut into wedges (for garnish)
Few fresh fennel fronds (for garnish)

1. Sprinkle the scallops lightly on each side with salt.

2. Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over high heat. Add the vegetable oil and heat until it is very hot. Place the scallops in the pan in a single layer, flat side down. Cook, without disturbing, for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until browned on the undersides. Use tongs to turn the scallops. Add the garlic and thyme sprigs. Add the butter, a small piece at a time, letting the butter brown before adding the next piece.

3. Gently baste the scallops by tilting the pan and letting the butter pool on one side. With a large spoon, baste the brown butter over the scallops for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the scallops are firm on the sides and opaque in the center.

4. Spoon the scallops over the fennel, garnish with almonds, orange wedges, and fennel fronds.

Lauren Allen

Serves 4

Because sauteed scallops need high heat, use vegetable oil, canola, or another neutral oil so you won't burn the shellfish. Before you cook these sea scallops, remove the tendon on each round, which is a small, but tough, tag on the side, and can be identified by its fibers, which run in the opposite direction. Remove it with a soft pinch and gentle tug. Then dry the scallops on paper towels for about 10 minutes, five minutes on each side. Have all the ingredients for the scallops ready, but first you need to cook the fennel garnish with white wine and blood orange juice. Keep the fennel warm while you quickly saute the scallops. They start in hot oil in a heavy-based skillet, then you add butter to the pan, let it brown, tip the pan, and spoon the browned butter over the scallops to give them extraordinary flavor.

FENNEL

½cup slivered almonds
2tablespoons vegetable oil, or another neutral oil
1 bulb fresh fennel, trimmed, halved, and thinly sliced (save a few fronds for garnish)
Salt, to taste
½ shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
½cup white wine
½tablespoon butter
Juice of 1 blood orange

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

2. In a small baking dish, spread the almonds. Toast them in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring several times, or until they are toasted; set aside for the garnish.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and when it is hot, add the fennel and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until it starts to brown. Add the shallot, continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the garlic and thyme leaves and cook, stirring often, 1 minute more.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the wine and stir well to deglaze the pan. Return the pan to the heat and let the mixture cook for 3 minutes more.

5. Add the butter, stirring constantly, until it melts. Add the orange juice, remove from the heat, and stir well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.

6. Transfer the fennel mixture to a warm serving platter; set aside in a warm place, loosely covered with foil, while you prepare the scallops.

SCALLOPS

pounds sea scallops
Salt, to taste
2tablespoons vegetable oil, or another neutral oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 blood orange, cut into wedges (for garnish)
Few fresh fennel fronds (for garnish)

1. Sprinkle the scallops lightly on each side with salt.

2. Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over high heat. Add the vegetable oil and heat until it is very hot. Place the scallops in the pan in a single layer, flat side down. Cook, without disturbing, for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until browned on the undersides. Use tongs to turn the scallops. Add the garlic and thyme sprigs. Add the butter, a small piece at a time, letting the butter brown before adding the next piece.

3. Gently baste the scallops by tilting the pan and letting the butter pool on one side. With a large spoon, baste the brown butter over the scallops for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the scallops are firm on the sides and opaque in the center.

4. Spoon the scallops over the fennel, garnish with almonds, orange wedges, and fennel fronds.Lauren Allen