There's somethin' somethin' about a gratin that seems so posh.
So, I just MUST whip up some Bay Scallop Gratins courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa the next time I have a get together. I'm sure they will be a super big hit with my usual crowd of 3-year-olds.
In this go-around, I made them for little ole' moi and The Husband along with the kiddo. My adventurous 3-year-old actually did eat two whole bites of scallop. But he was enticed by the promise of a Hershey's Kiss for his new-food-trying efforts.
I followed this recipe almost to the T. I did not have Pernod, and then I looked up what it is: a licorice-flavored liquor. Ummm. That flavor mixed with scallop flavor in my mind brought on a huge wave of the gags. So, I just substituted the Pernod for another tablespoon of white wine, which is already called for in the recipe. Sorry, Barefoot Contessa. Since we're keeping it real, dear readers, I whipped up these scallops last week while in the midst of a major asthma episode. And my deluxe cocktail of inhalers, steroids and meds kind of killed my appetite. And brought on some major nausea and shakes and delirium. Good times! But that is why I opted for the more basic-tasting wine, if you know what I mean.
When I make these again just for The Husband and me, I will just whip them up in one large gratin rather than the cute individual gratins because Clumsiness is my middle name, and removing small hot gratins from a hot baking sheet to plates on the table is waaaaaaaaaaaay easier said then done. When I do get it together for an adult din din partay, I will rock out the smaller ones, for sure.
I served these for a light dinner. The Husband hadn't been feeling so hot either, so he wasn't a huge eater on this lovely day. He always says scallops leave him wanting more food. So, I recommend this dish as an appie. The Barefoot Contessa says to rock out some fab bread on the side. I served rice and a salad.
Bay Scallop Gratins
Makes 3 gratins
From "Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics"
By Ina Garten
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma, minced
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Pernod
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. good olive oil
1/4 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
3 Tbsp. dry white wine
1 pound fresh bay scallops
Lemon, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place 3 (6-inch 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, shallot, prosciutto, parsley, lemon juice, Pernod, salt and pepper and mix until combined. With the mixer on low, add the olive oil slowly as though making mayonnaise, until combined. Fold the panko in with a rubber spatula and set aside.
Preheat the broiler, if it's separate from your oven.
Place 1 Tbsp. of the wine in the bottom of each gratin dish. With a small sharp knife, remove the white muscle and membrane from the side of each scallop and discard. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and distribute them among the 3 dishes. Spoon the garlic butter evenly over the top of the scallops. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the topping is golden and sizzling and the scallops are barely done. If you want the top crustier, place the dishes under the broiler for 2 minutes, until browned. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of chopped parsley and serve immediately with crusty French bread.
Please note: The Jersey Girl used 1 Tbsp. white wine instead of Pernod.