Saturday 22 September 2007
Recipe: Scallops with Almonds, in a Parsley Sauce
It was the Technical Department's birthday this week, and Scallops were specifically requested as a first course for dinner. And not the same-old-same-old with leeks and Pernod please (nothing wrong with it, you understand, but......it's been done). Some research later, and the following recipe was unearthed from the pages of Michel Guérard - a name that's effectively disappeared during the past thirty years, but which is long overdue for re-discovery: his method for gratin dauphinoise, quite apart from anything else, is both unusual and terrific!
At first reading, this particular Scallop recipe sounds as though the shellfish will be swamped by the other ingredients - not so, though, and the end result is subtle, well-balanced and delicious. As with pretty much all Scallop dishes, it can be done from scratch to serving in under ten minutes!
Ingredients: 10 large Scallops (coral removed); 3 oz Butter; 20g slivered Almonds; 1 clove of Garlic; 1 large fistful of Parsley; 2 tablespoons of Cream; 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil; Salt & Pepper.
1. Blanch the Garlic and Parsley in boiling water for two minutes. Drain, and chop finely (if doing the recipe for a larger number, and the quantity justifies it, you can do this in a processor; when just doing it for two, though, it's easier just to chop finely by hand).
2. Put the chopped mixture in a double boiler or zimmertopf, and add the Cream and Olive Oil over a low heat. Stir throughly.
3. Heat half the butter in a frying pan. When melted, add the slivered Almonds, raise the heat, and cook, stirring, until they become golden brown. Add the Scallops, and cook for 30 seconds or so on each side. Spoon the Scallops onto heated serving plates, then add the remaining Butter to the pan and stir rapidly as it melts; spoon the melted Butter and cooking residue from the pan over the Scallops.
4. Season the Parsley Sauce, stir once more, then spoon over the Scallops. (If you want to be a purist, you can sieve the sauce at this stage to get an entirely smooth consistency - it's a matter of personal preference. I don't bother)