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A couple of summers ago my plan had been to rent a house right on the white sands of Florida, with a large balcony overlooking the ocean, and cocktails mixed each evening. After a glorious day on the beach, we would have an amazing dinner, tuck the kids into bed and enjoy the peaceful sounds of the ocean.
However, our vacation was a little different than I had imagined – we rented an RV, drove to, and parked in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Our RV site in Gulf Shores, Alabama

Although there are no RV parks surrounded by, and commanding the premium view of gorgeous beaches, we did find a lovely spot by the ocean one evening, and stayed in a State Park the next.

After a day on the beach

We delighted in the fresh seafood available while close to the ocean, and then found this fabulous Sweet Home Farm cheese shop on the way home. We sampled cheeses and preserves and stocked the refrigerator in the RV.

This past frigid winter has made us treasure the sunny memories of our vacation even more, and this little taste of the ocean enveloped us in warmth.


2 egg yolks
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice, divided
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
1 garlic clove
1/2 to 1 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
24 sea scallops
8 8-inch skewers
16 fresh bay leaves

olive oil
2 oranges, peeled, sectioned
1/4 cup fresh tarragon

Whisk yolks, 4 tablespoons orange juice, and saffron in medium bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not let bowl touch water). Whisk until thickened and thermometer registers 160F, about 4 minutes. Transfer to processor. Add orange peel and garlic. With machine running, gradually add oil in a thin stream until incorporated, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Transfer to medium bowl. Whisk in lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Thread 3 scallops on 1 skewer alternately with 2 bay leaves. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining scallops, skewers and bay leaves.
Heat griddle over high heat, brush with oil. Cook scallops until brown and just opaque in center, about 2 minutes per side. Place 1 brochette on each of 8 plates. Drizzle scallops with aioli. Garnish with orange sections and tarragon.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2006