Note: This marmalade can be used for many other recipes, including a side dipping sauce for shrimp or pork tenderloin. It makes about two cups.
To serve 30 appetizers
- 1 fennel bulb, finely diced. Reserve some of the feathery greenery for garnish.
- 2 T shallots, peeled and finely diced.
- 2 oranges, peeled, segmented, and diced.
- 1 T orange zest
- 4 cups orange juice (can use frozen orange juice for this)
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 T fennel seed
- 1/4 cup Cointreau
- 30 sea scallops, patted dry
Combine all ingredients except the 2 T of the Cointreau in a heavy saucepan. Reduce by about 75% or until you have no more than two cups. Add remaining Cointreau and set aside. If the marmalade is too tart, add a bit of white sugar at this point. This can be made days in advance. Bring about 1 cup back to warm on top of the stove when you are preparing to serve the dish.
Sauté scallops in batches, in 1 ts. olive oil and a small dab of butter, until lightly browned on each side. About 3 minutes total time. A non-stick skillet works best. I would always undercook rather than overcook a scallop.
To serve immediately, place a scallop on a wheat cracker, and top with a scant teaspoon marmalade. Garnish with minced fennel greens.
If the dish is part of a buffet of appetizers, I would put the scallops topped with marmalade on one plate, and crackers on a separate one.