A quick and easy recipe that lets the flavor of these beautiful scallops shine through.
I have been scallop greedy this winter. Some years, New England bay scallops, especially Nantuckets, are hard to find or really expensive because they truly are rigidly protected and the absolute best in the world. They were still expensive this year, but my fish supplier was able to get them for me a couple of times. They are in season from November through February or March, some years only through January all depending on weather.
One of my favorites, as all scallops, they are best cooked quickly and served without a lot of fuss. A simple bake with a little lemon and a crumb coating, just a bit of garlic and Parmesan, a little tarragon, and the scallops shine through as the star.
If you cannot find New England or other local bay scallops, use sea scallops, just cut them in half or quarters! Always ask for “dry” scallops that are not packed in a preservative. In the watery solution, they lose their flavor and absorb so much water they are usually impossible to sear. Plus, who wants to eat a chemical?
Baked Nantucket Bay Scallops Au Gratin
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- ¾ cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
- 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lb. Nantucket or other local bay scallops
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- ½ tsp. fresh tarragon, finely minced
- 2 tbsp. white wine
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk, or heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an oval casserole dish about “8X10″.
Combine Parmesan, crumbs, parsley, and paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Remove any tough muscles from the scallops and pat dry. Line the casserole with the scallops in a single layer, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a small skillet, combine the butter and olive oil and heat over medium high. Add the shallots and shiitake and sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and tarragon. Cook until fragrant, about a minute. Pour over the scallops and sprinkle with the white wine. Pour the cream or coconut milk evenly over all.
Top the scallops with the crumb mixture, and drizzle with just a little more melted butter.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the crumbs are brown and scallops are tender.
Serve with rice or roasted potatoes.
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