Cooking with cider is nothing new at Carr’s Ciderhouse in Hadley, Massachusetts. The family-run operation has been working with all sorts of ways to incorporate apples of all forms into their cuisine. From winter coleslaw with a cider syrup vinaigrette to BBQ sauce made with an apple cider vinegar, the fruits bring a whole new angle to traditional methods.
“The flavor profile of apples and cider go so well with the way we cook in the fall,” says Nicole Blum, co-owner with her husband, Jonathan Carr. “A little richer and warmer than the salad days of summer. Apples pair well with a lot of different foods that we eat in our country and, this time of the year, we start thinking of pan-frying and braising things.”
Many may think that cider is limited to drinking alone, but when used to cook chicken, beef, pork and seafood, a completely new flavor arises that can’t be found elsewhere. Currently, Blum says she’s working on a cider recipe book to be released to the public, but for now, it’s a work in progress. This may be a sneak peek, but one of the items that could possibly be found in the book is this pan-fried scallop dish with Carr’s Ciderhouse Golden Russet Blend sparkling cider and housemade cider syrup.
Pan Fried Scallops with Cider Syrup
Recipe courtesy of Carr’s Ciderhouse
1 small shallot
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Carr’s Ciderhouse Golden Russet Blend
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Carr’s Ciderhouse cider syrup*
Coat the sauté pan with olive oil and heat on medium-hot. Place the scallops in the pan so they are evenly spaced and have a flat side touching the pan. Brown one side, then flip to brown the other, about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan when just cooked.
Add a little more olive oil if the pan is dry and sauté the minced shallots until they begin to turn translucent, about 1 minute. Add the hard cider and allow it to cook off for about another minute.
Add the cider syrup and salt, whisk to combine, then put the cooked scallops back in the pan, flipping them to coat them with the glaze. The glaze will reduce a little and the heat should be turned off immediately if it begins too dark — you want it to caramelize but not burn, and this whole process takes less than a minute so don’t walk away from the pan.
Plate up the scallops and spoon any extra glaze over the top.
*To make the cider syrup, you can purchase your favorite non-alcoholic cider and reduce it in a pan on medium heat. Or, you can purchase Carr’s cider syrup which will probably make its way into other dishes you create.