Another great “make ahead” entrée for a superb dinner party.  You can make the entire dish the day before and set out at room temperature an hour before you bake it. Then bake it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Delicious!IMG_0912

Right before baking!!

Ingredients: (Serves 6)

  • 8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided 4 and 4
  • 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 C clam juice
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 1/2 Tsp. curry powder
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 C diced shallots (about 3 large)
  • 1 1/2 C cremini mushrooms, caps brushed or whipped clean, stems removed (if can’t find cremini, use baby portabellas.)
  • 1/4 C Cognac or brandy
  • 1 1/2 C fresh bread crumbs (6 slices of white sandwich bread, diced, and pulsed in a food processor until crumbs form)
  • 1/4 C minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 5 ounces grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1/4 C good olive oil
  • 2 pounds bay scallops, drained, side muscles removed (can substitute 2 lbs. sea scallops, quartered)

If making right away:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place six (1 1/2-cup) gratin dishes on 2 sheet pans.

Melt 4 T of better over medium heat in a medium saucepan.  Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.  Add the clam juice and whisk until it is smooth and thickened.  Whist in the cream, curry powder, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, set aside.

Heat the remaining 4 T of butter in a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium-low heat.  Add the shallots and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender and translucent.  Dice the mushrooms caps (small), add to the shallots, and cook for 8 minutes, stirring often.  Add the Cognac or brandy and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper and set aside.

Combine the bread crumbs, parsley, Gruyère, and olive oil in a medium bowl and stir to moisten the crumb.  Set aside.

Add the mushrooms to the cream sauce.  Add the scallops and 1 1/2 tsp. salt, mix well, and divide among the gratin dishes.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly on top and bake for 20 minutes, until the scallops are cooked and the sauce is lightly browned and bubbly.  Serve hot.  Adapted from Ina Garten’s Make it Ahead cookbook.

MAKE AHEAD:  Prepare everything as directed.  Do not preheat the oven!  After you divide the scallops among the gratin dishes.  Cover each dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator over night.  Take out of the refrigerator and let side at room temperature one hour before you plan to bake it.   Set the oven to 400 degrees and bake exactly 20 minutes.  Serve Hot!

Note:  I served “Surf & Turf”, the Coquilles Saint Jacques and Filet of Beef Tenderloin” with a side of couscous and de-constructed Caesar Salad!IMG_0792

Valentine Theme with plates I made at the Art Studio!
Valentine Theme with plates I made at the Art Studio!
Tasting party desserts!