Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bay Scallop Gratin

Here is another Ina Garten recipe. Scallops can be a little pricey but if you watch for them they do go on sale every now and then. This was one of those times that Whole Foods was running a special and I took full advantage.

The sea scallop is the largest of the scallops. You usually get approximately 20-40 in one pound. They can be bought fresh or frozen. Scallops freeze well, so if they are on sale or you buy too many, freeze them for later use. The raw meats are creamy white in color and sometimes slightly orange due to the food (algae) they consume. Scallops have a distinct, sweet odor when they are fresh. Always take care not to overcook them; they toughen easily. As soon as they lose their translucence and turn opaque, they are done.

The bay scallop resides in bays and estuaries from New England to the Gulf of Mexico. Its muscle reaches about one-half inch in diameter. You usually find about 50-90 in one pound. Bay scallop meats are white with some pink coloration on occasion due to the food (algae) they consume.You need to be especially careful when cooking bay scallops. Because of their size, they tend to overcook very easily and will become tough. They are sweet and tender yet firm when cooked properly.

Ingredients for Ina's Bay Scallop Gratin:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 medium shallots, minced
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma, minced
4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Pernod
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 cup panko
6 tablespoons dry white wine
2 pound fresh bay scallops
Lemon, for garnish

Ina's recipe makes six servings, I cooked this for two.

I added the shallots to the magic bullet, a little blender for small chopping jobs.

Threw in the prosciutto also.

This little gadget works great for little jobs like this.

To my KitchenAid mixer I added the chopped prosciutto and shallot to butter.

On low speed mix and add parsley, garlic,

lemon juice,

salt, pepper,

and instead of Pernod, I used sherry.

With the mixer on low, add the olive oil slowly as though making mayonnaise, until combined.

Panko is a Japanese bread crumb, very light and flaky.

Fold the panko in with a spatula and set mixture aside.

Place 1 tablespoon of white wine in the bottom of each gratin dish.

I first rinsed the scallops in a colander under cold water.

Pat dry and then season with salt and pepper.

Divide the scallops among the gratin dishes. These dishes are so cute, I bought them from Faraday's cooking supply store in Lakeway. They can go in the oven, in the microwave, in the dishwasher and also right to the table. Perfect for this recipe!!

Spoon the garlic butter evenly over the top of the scallops.

Place gratin dishes on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the topping is golden and sizzling and the scallops are barely done.

I love how this bubbles over and turns brown on top. If you want the top crustier, place the dishes under the broiler for 2 minutes.

Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

Serve immediately with crusty French bread. This is a great recipe to make for a dinner party because you can do most everything ahead of time. Store the flavorful butter in the fridge, clean and place the scallops in a bowl and then when guest arrive simply assemble, bake, then dive in!


  1. This looks/sounds amazing! I'm definitely going to make this soon. :)

  2. WOW! Those look fabulous. Now I just need a night home alone since I'm the only one who likes scallops... :)

  3. The second I saw the title I thought "Ina"! My husband loves scallops. It looks so awesome.

  4. OMG this looks and sounds amazing. Too bad no one in my housewill eat seafood!


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