An alternative Christmas recipe
16 scallops (3 or 4 scallops per person) out of their shells and thoroughly cleaned – that’s the hard part!
4 leeks (only the white part) sliced into rounds
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Butter and olive oil for frying
1 pot of crème fraîche
Salt and pepper
‘Fleurons’ (little cresents of puff pastry – found in supermarkets here/maybe ordered at the boulangerie…. look great on top of the finished dish)
Melt butter with the oil (in a large saucepan – I use my Le Creuset one as it’s tableware too-saves on the washing-up!) and add the garlic, then the leeks….cook them gently for about 15 mins taking care not to burn them…*
(Sometimes I add a little grated carrot, just for the colour )
*Sauté the vegetables initially, then put the lid on the saucepan, so that they steam gently. Add the cream and mix thoroughly.Reheat gently and add salt and freshly-ground pepper.
Slice the scallops so that they’ll cook quicker. Melt some butter in a large frying pan and add the white part of the scallops, cooking gently over a low heat….it’s a question of 2 mins.
Quickly add the roes (orange part) and cook for 1 minute.
Meanwhile, reheat the ‘fleurons’ in a moderate oven…..
Stir the scallops into the leek, carrot and cream mix….Add some chopped chives (frozen, at this time of year – none left in the garden!)
Place the fleurons delicately on top and serve with rice…….
Very handy for a dinner party as the veg can be prepared in advance (with the cream) and reheated very gently.
Cook the scallops while the ‘invités’ are helping themselves to their second helping of the starter! That’s how I do it here – nobody starts while the hostess is not à table…..so, start eating, then sneak off to cook the scallops and reheat the leeks etc.