Scallops Gratinée

Serves 6

Scallops, when gratinéed with savory Comté cheese, makes for a sumptuous pairing. Enjoy this dish as an appetizer or main course, with a side of fresh greens.
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Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine French
Keyword comte cheese, Coquilles St. Jacques

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. button mushrooms finely minced
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter divided
  • 1 small leek green removed, white cleaned and finely minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh tarragon minced
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 6 large scallops abductor muscle removed, and patted dry
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup grated 6-12 month aged Comté cheese
  • 6 - 6 ” scallop shells for serving

Instructions

  1. In a small sauté pan, heat 4 tbsp. unsalted butter and add the mushrooms and 1/2 of the leeks. Cook over medium low heat until the mixture forms a loose paste, about 20 minutes. Add the parsley and tarragon, and season the mixture with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes longer. You’ll know it’s done when most of the moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated. Divide the mixture into the bottom of the scallop shells forming a base for the scallops to sit on.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the sherry, remaining leeks, bay leaf, and 2 tbsp water, and simmer until reduced by half. Strain the liquid and set aside, discarding the bay and leeks.
  3. In a small sauté pan, add 1 tbsp. butter and flour and make a roux, cooking over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the reduced sherry mixture and 35% cream, and whisk to combine. Cook, simmering, for about 7 minutes, or until fully thickened and the flour has been cooked out. Season with salt and pepper, and add the lemon juice. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  4. In a medium sauté pan, add the remaining 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil, and bring to medium high heat. Season the scallops with salt and pepper, and place in the pan to sear. Cook on each side for 2 minutes and transfer the seared scallops to the prepared scallop shells, placing them on top of the mushroom mixture.
  5. Spoon 2 tbsp of the cream mixture on top of each scallop, and top with the grated Comté cheese, dividing the cheese evenly.
  6. Place the scallops under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and lightly browned, and the scallop is fully warmed through.
  7. Serve with a salad of fresh greens and herbs, and some crusty bread.