John Storrs’ Coquille Saint-Jacques

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My dad won a contest with this version of a scallop gratin. At the time, I was much more excited that Dan Fouts — NFL quarterback and amateur chef — was one of the judges and the presenter of the award.

12 large, fresh scallops, dry packed
6 scallop shells or shallow gratin dishes
1 pound button mushrooms
1 shallot, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 Tablespoon butter
2 cups fish stock
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup bread crumbs, sautéed gently in 1 Tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon minced chives, for garnish

Bring the fish stock to a gentle simmer. Poach the scallops for 1 minute, remove and cut the scallops into quarters. Reduce the fish stock by half, add the cream and simmer for two minutes; remove from the heat.

Slice the mushrooms and sauté gently in 1 Tablespoon butter with the thyme and shallot. (The mixture should slowly dry out rather than brown).

Combine the scallops, mushrooms and cream sauce. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Distribute the mixture evenly between the six shells. Add a sprinkling of the buttered bread crumbs. Run under the broiler until the mixture is brown and bubbly. If you’re fancy, mound a little rock salt on six plates to hold the shells. Garnish with the chives and fresh pepper.

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