Thursday, 16 February 2012

Recette: Scallops in Champagne Sauce

Finally found the photos I took of the New Year’s meal I made for Chéri! And as not a meal can be blogged without images, of course, I can also finally share this delicious and festive recipe taken from a range of seasonal cookbooks brought out by Sud Ouest newspaper. Each month takes into account the ingredients which are in season in the South West of France and gives you plenty of greedy ideas on how best to use them. This one comes from December!

Scallops in Champagne Sauce (serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a starter)

You will need:
12 large scallops in their shells 
1 tsp olive oil
150ml champagne
60ml double cream
2 tsp fish roe e.g. salmon or cod
sprigs of dill
salt, white pepper, ground black pepper

Open the scallop shells and remove the scallops. Separate the scallop from the coral and discard the corals. Season the scallops. Keep the 4 best shells and carefully wash them. Put to one side.

Heat the oven to 180C/gas 6. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat and fry the scallops for 1min on each side. Share between the 4 shells and bake in the oven for 4min on a baking tray.

During this time, bring the champagne to a simmer and add the double cream. Season with salt and the white pepper. Simmer for 2min, remove from the heat.

Sprinkle sea salt on to 2 plates, remove the scallops from the oven and lay them on the sea salt. 

Blend the champagne sauce with a hand mixer to make a nice mousse and share this sauce between the shells. Add the salmon roe and decorate with the sprigs of dill. Sprinkle with black pepper before serving with a crisp rocket salad.

Greedy Notes: Buy the biggest and freshest scallops you can afford from the fishmonger. They are the key to the recipe and are really worth the money. However, if you are on a tight budget, try swapping the champagne (which can be very overpriced in the UK) for Spanish cava or Italian prosecco, both of which will create the same effect while being kinder on the purse-strings.