Julia Child’s Scallops Gratineed

It is not every day that I say something like “I think this is the best thing I have ever had”, maybe once in a while, but it’s rare. This glorious dish is also known as Coquilles St. Jacques à la Provençale, doesn’t that sound beautiful? We all know that gratineed means cheese and to be quite frank I was skeptical to make this in the beginning. I have a very distinct rule about putting seafood with cheese and often forbid it. When I go out to a restaurant and order frutti di mare and the server asks if I would like Parmesan cheese on top..I squeal a quick “NO!” thinking hell may freeze over.

But when I saw some of the other bloggers showing off their perfected glazed scallops, I couldn’t resist. Some saying that this was the best thing they have ever had. And I must tell you….I happily agree.

All the ingredients for the dish I had on hand and the combination was magnificent. White wine was pungent, the swiss cheese was not nearly as overpowering as I originally thought and the sauteed onions and shallots took the sauce over the top. I sopped up the winey buttered broth with some French bread and licked my fingers clean with happiness. This is one of the best things I have ever had.

Method: 

1) In a skillet, saute onions in olive oil and 1 Tb butter until they begin to be translucent but not browned. Add garlic and shallots and cook for another minute. Set aside.

2) Dry scallops with a paper towel and slice them in half. Season with salt and pepper and right before you’re ready to saute, dust in flour, removing any excess.

3) In skillet, add oil and 1Tb butter and brown on each side. About 2 minutes on each side.

4) Once scallops are browned, pour the wine and water into the same skillet with the scallops. Add the thyme, bay leaf and onion mixture. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Then remove the cover and turn heat up to high to reduce the sauce for 1 minute. Taste for seasoning.

5) Place the scallops in a shallow oven proof dish and spoon sauce. Top with grated Swiss cheese and dot with butter. Right before serving, place under broiler for about 3 minutes to melt and lightly brown cheese.

Julia Child’s Scallops Gratineed

Excerpted from Excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright © 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 5-6 scallops, washed
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 3 Tb butter
  • 2/3 c white wine
  • 3 Tb water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 c grated Swiss cheese
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme, chopped
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, saute onions in olive oil and 1 Tb butter until they begin to be translucent but not browned. Add garlic and shallots and cook for another minute. Set aside.
  2. Dry scallops with a paper towel and slice them in half. Season with salt and pepper and right before you're ready to saute, dust in flour, removing any excess.
  3. In skillet, add oil and 1Tb butter and brown on each side. About 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Once scallops are browned, pour the wine and water into the same skillet with the scallops. Add the thyme, bay leaf and onion mixture. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Then remove the cover and turn heat up to high to reduce the sauce for 1 minute. Taste for seasoning.
  5. Place the scallops in a shallow oven proof dish and spoon sauce. Top with grated Swiss cheese and dot with butter. Right before serving, place under broiler for about 3 minutes to melt and lightly brown cheese.
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Also..I want to let you know that THIS week is Julia Child Restaurant week and restaurants across the Nation are offering a special menu for her 100th Birthday! Are you planning on going? We can’t wait!

Bon Appetit!

Comments

  1. Charlie says

    Good Morning!

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

    I had these years ago in a restaurant and they were exquisite.

    They were so large and served in a shell dish, around the edges they had piped mashed potatoes, before they went under the broiler.

    They paired so well with the potatoes, and I have wanted them ever since.

    Have a Joyful Day :~D
    Charlie

    • says

      I didn’t know there was a seafood and cheese rule! These look amazing though – just what I needed for some inspiration for the scallops I bought today at the market.

      • SamanthaSamantha says

        Haha…I always thought there was an unspoken rule to never marry cheese with fish…but rules are meant to be broken, right? Please let me know how the recipe turns out! This is so decadent!

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