Sponsored by Buffalo Trace Distillery
I love a good Old Fashioned. When it is done right, all the flavors work together and it just can’t be beat. Particularly with an Old Fashioned made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey, you get those strong notes of toffee and vanilla that pair so well with the citrusy orange and the sweet cherry garnish. While I often drink my whiskey straight up, sometimes a sophisticated cocktail is right up my alley.
We were recently working on creating a fun date night recipe for my wife and me to make together and enjoy. She wanted scallops, seared perfectly on the grill. And after sharing an Old Fashioned in a glass, we realized that the flavors of the drink could go really well with these tasty seafood morsels.
So we brought the flavors (and ingredients) of an Old Fashioned together with perfectly seared scallops, to create this amazing dish. And because everything is better with bacon, we added a bit for good measure.
I decided I need to bring these flavors into a dish. I decided scallops would be a perfect protein to work with. With the sauce I wanted to add some bacon because bacon makes everything better.
Making the Dish
For the sauce, we used the following:
Buffalo Trace Bourbon, fresh bing cherries, prepared sour cherry jam, a dash of bitters, a bit of smoked simple syrup, finely minced shallots, crispy and salty bacon, the zest of an orange, a little chicken broth and a few tablespoons of butter. This is for date night– so we went with rich and decadent flavors.
Start by making the sauce. Add the butter and shallots to a small cast iron pan and cook for a few minutes. Add the sour cherry jam, bitters, simple syrup, and chicken broth. Let simmer to thicken a bit and prepare the scallops.
To get a nice crust on the scallops, begin by patting them dry with a paper towel. I then seasoned them with salt on both sides and around the edges. I like to keep the seasoning simple, especially because scallops don’t need much and the sauce you’ll serve them with is a bit over-the-top.
Using my Traeger Ranger grill, I got the cast iron griddle insert screaming hot in order to get the best sear. You can do the same in a pan in the house, and get the same result. When ready to cook, swirl a tiny bit of butter on the cast iron, and place the scallops down to get a good crust. Don’t touch them- you want that perfect crust. Cook for about 75 seconds on one side, then flip and repeat. Don’t cook too long, as scallops get tough when overcooked. Remove the scallops to a plate and cover loosely while you finish the sauce.
When the scallops are done it is time to finish the sauce. Add the fresh halved Bing cherries, bacon and orange zest and stir to combine. Now the fun part– add a good helping of Buffalo Trace Bourbon and flambe the sauce for a few minutes. Once you’ve added the bourbon, carefully light the sauce with a lighter and cook off the alcohol while swirling the pan until the flames go out.
Pour the sauce in a bowl and place the scallops on top. Serve with a perfect Old Fashioned cocktail and enjoy. Cheers!
Scallops in an Old Fashioned Sauce
- Cast iron skillet
- Cast iron griddle
- Grill preheated to 400°
- Lighter or match
- 6 large sea scallops defrosted if previously frozen
- ¼ cup shallots finely minced
- 2 tsp butter
- 3 slices bacon cooked crisp and chopped
- ½ cup fresh Bing cherries halved and pits removed
- 2 tbsp sour cherry jam
- 1 tsp angostura bitters
- 2 tsp smoked simple syrup
- zest of one orange
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 2 shots Buffalo Trace bourbon whiskey
- Preheat cast iron griddle in grill or on stove until screaming hot.
- In a small skillet, saute butter and shallots until softened.
- Stir in cherry jam, bitters, simple syrup and chicken broth. Bring to a rolling boil and allow to condense slightly. Turn down heat to low and set aside.
- Pat scallops dry with a paper towel. Season with salt. When ready to cook, swirl a bit of butter on the griddle and place scallops on buttered pan. Allow to sear without touching or moving for about 1-2 minutes. Flip and repeat with other side.
- Remove scallops to a plate and keep warm.
- Bring sauce back to a boil, stir in cherries, bacon and orange zest and stir to combine. Then add whiskey and light liquor with a lighter or match. Allow to cook until the flame burns out. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour sauce in the bottom of a serving bowl, and place scallops on top of sauce. Garnish with more orange peel and serve with a perfect Old Fashioned cocktail.