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Delia's Scallops in the shell
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Serves: 6 as a starter
6-8 large plump scallops, with their corals if possible
425ml Dry Vermouth, white wine or cider
75g butter, plus 10g extra for the sauce
1 large shallot, finely chopped
175g button mushrooms
50g sauce flour or plain flour
225ml double cream
3 tablespoons white breadcrumbs
1½ tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
You will also need a Delia Online Little Gem ‘Sauce’ pan (heavy gauge aluminum, measuring 16cm by 8cm) or similar and 6 large scallop shells or a medium sized shallow baking dish
Start by slicing the white parts of each scallop into rounds about 5mm thick, and cut any larger corals in half and put them to one side. Now to poach the scallops: pour the vermouth into the frying pan and bring it up to a gentle simmer, then pop the scallops in and, when it comes back to simmering point, cook for exactly 30 seconds. Remove them with a draining spoon to a plate and poach the corals for 1 minute and transfer them to join the scallops (reserving the poaching liquid to make the sauce).
Now melt 75g of butter in a medium saucepan and add the shallots and let them cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms and some seasoning, turn the heat down and cook gently for about 15 minutes. After that, sprinkle in the flour and stir to soak up all the juices, add the poaching liquid very gradually, stirring continuously till you have a thick smooth sauce, then continue to simmer gently for 4-5 minutes.
After that, take the pan off the heat and stir in the extra 10g butter and the double cream, taste to check the seasoning and then stir in the poached scallops and the corals, and divide the mixture amongst the dishes. Combine the breadcrumbs with the Parmigiano Reggiano and sprinkle all over.
Place them under a hot pre-heated grill for 3 – 4 minutes until brown and bubbling.
If you want to prepare them ahead bake them from cold in a preheated oven 200°C gas mark 6, on a baking tray for 30 minutes on the centre shelf.
This recipe was first published in December 2013.