Sunday, October 24, 2010
You know how I'd been thinking about my repertoire, and how I didn't have enough fancy things that I could make for company? Well, about a week ago, someone was asking about for a scallop/mushroom/white wine recipe and something just clicked. Didn't my dad make some type of delicious scallop-y mushroom thing? The next night, I was a guest at my parents house and lo and behold my father was making exactly that for dinner. So for both my own purposes, and for the good of others, I followed him around as he cooked, diligently scribbling on a small scrap of paper and peppering him with questions. The result: We have a recipe! Now you (and I) can cook fancy scallops any time we feel like.
adapted from Julia Child - Julia doesn't have mushrooms. Poor Julia.
3/4 lbs crimini/baby bella mushrooms (buttons only in a pinch) or 1 lb fresh chanterelles (if you'd like to go super upscale - DO NOT attempt with dried, it won't work)
1 1/2 lbs sea scallops
1 clove of garlic minced
1/2 C minced yellow onion
2 T shallot minced
1/4 t dried thyme
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 C flour
1/2 T olive oil + 1 T olive oil
1 T butter + 1 T butter + a bit more for greasing casserole dish
1/2 C vermouth or white wine
1/3 emmenthaler or gruyere
1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
Prepare your scallops. Place them in a colander and rinse, then pat them dry. Be thorough. Then carefully trim off the foot/muscle area. Halve or quarter them (depending on size), you want uniform scallop chunks of about 1". Quarter or halve your mushrooms so they are in chunks only slightly smaller than the scallops. Mince up your garlic, onion and shallot. Prepare two skillets. In one, toss a 1/2 T of olive oil and the mushrooms. Cook on medium to sweat out the liquid from the mushrooms. In the other, melt the butter and cook the onions on medium low until they are translucent (about 5 minutes), then add the garlic and shallot and cook a few minutes more, then set aside. When the mushrooms are golden and there is no liquid in the bottom of the mushroom pan (5-7 minutes) set aside your mushrooms. In another small bowl, combine the thyme and bay leaf. Grate your emmenthaler. See?
Now, back to the scallops. Season with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. In a large ziploc bag, combine the scallops and the flour. Gently shake to coat the scallops. Remove scallops from the bag and shake off all excess flour. Get a pan very hot and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter. When the pan sizzles with the addition of a drop of water, it's ready for the scallops. Sear for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side, you want a nice crust. DO NOT attempt to move the scallops before that time, or you will ruin everything. When the second side is seared and has a nice crust, add the vermouth or white wine, the shallot, garlic, onion, bay, thyme and mushrooms and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 5 minutes, covered. Remove the cover (and the bay leaf). The sauce should have thickened nicely, if not, reduce a bit more. Pour into a greased pyrex or casserole, sprinkle with the cheese (emmenthaler is terrific, if you use gruyere, use less as it is a bit stronger). Broil until the cheese is bubbly, about 2 minutes.