Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration! Bay Scallop Gratin

I saw this recipe on The Horgans-To-Be cooking blog and have wanted to try it ever since. This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe. It was a warm and satisfying meal to eat after a long day walking around DC, being a part of this historic day. I made a few changes to use what I had, or didn't have, on hand. One change I made that didn't work out-- I used frozen bay scallops instead of fresh. When I thawed out the scallops, I must not have gotten enough water out of them, because the dish came out watery. The flavor was great though.

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (very important)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma, minced (I omitted)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish (I used dried parsley)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon Pernod (I didn't have this on hand, so I used more white wine)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons dry white wine (I didn't have a dry white, so I used a Riesling)
1 pound bay scallops

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place 3 6" round gratin dishes on a sheet pan.

To make the topping, place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). With the mixer on low speed, add the garlic, the shallot, prosciutto, parsley, lemon juice, Pernod, salt and pepper until combined. With the mixer still on low, add the olive oil slowly, as though making a mayonnaise, until combined. Fold the panko in with a rubber spatula and set aside.

Preheat broiler if its separate from your oven.

Place 1 Tablespoon of wine in the bottom of each gratin dish.

Pat the scallops down with a paper towel so they are dry and distribute them among the 3 dishes. If you could only find sea scallops (which are larger than bay scallops), cut them into quarters before placing them in the dish.

Spoon the garlic butter evenly over the top of the scallops. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the top is golden and sizzling and the scallops are barely done. If you want the top crustier, place under the broiler for 2 minutes until browned. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and chopped parsley.

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