Scallops in the Shell
Fresh scallops are very plump and good around Christmas time, and this is my own favourite way of serving them.
The recipe has the advantage of requiring no last-minute fuss - it even freezes well and can be cooked straight from the freezer. You can watch how to make the sauce in our Cookery School Term Flour Based Sauces and Batters - 'Flour Based Sauces' video lesson below.
This recipe is from Delia's Happy Christmas. Serves 6 as a starter
Start by slicing the white parts of each scallop into rounds about 5mm thick, and cut any larger corals in half and put them to one side.
Now to poach the scallops: pour the vermouth into the frying pan and bring it up to a gentle simmer, then pop the scallops in and, when it comes back to simmering point, cook for exactly 30 seconds. Remove them with a draining spoon to a plate and poach the corals for 1 minute and transfer them to join the scallops (reserving the poaching liquid to make the sauce).
Now melt 75g of butter in a medium saucepan and add the shallots and let them cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms and some seasoning, turn the heat down and cook gently for about 15 minutes. After that, sprinkle in the flour and stir to soak up all the juices, add the poaching liquid very gradually, stirring continuously until you have a thick smooth sauce, then continue to simmer gently for 4-5 minutes.
After that, take the pan off the heat and stir in the extra 10g butter and the double cream, taste to check the seasoning and then stir in the poached scallops and the corals, and divide the mixture amongst the dishes. Combine the breadcrumbs with the Parmigiano Reggiano and sprinkle all over.
Place them under a hot pre-heated grill for 3 – 4 minutes until brown and bubbling.
If you want to prepare them ahead bake them from cold in a preheated oven 200°C gas mark 6, on a baking tray for 30 minutes on the centre shelf.
You will also need a Delia Online Little Gem ‘Sauce’ Pan (heavy gauge aluminum, measuring 16cm by 8cm) or similar and 6 large scallop shells or a medium sized shallow baking dish.