This dish was created by Monsieur Oudille, former Head Chef of Michel Guérard’s restaurant and it is one of my favourites. The scallops are placed on a julienne of vegetables, and then baked in their puff pastry sealed shells. The flavours are absolutely stunning - so clean and fresh - and the dish is also very easy!
4 medium scallops, shucked, cleaned of roe and muscle, membranes reserved, shells reserved and cleaned
10g/¼oz unsalted butter, softened
150g/5½oz puff pastry (or shortcrust pastry), cut into strips 2cmx30cm/¾inx12in
1 free-range egg, beaten
seaweed salad, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
For the vegetables, blanch the carrot, leek and courgette in a saucepan of boiling water for 12 seconds. Drain and cool under running water, and squeeze well to remove the excess moisture. Rinse the cucumber ribbons and mix with the blanched vegetables. Set aside.
For the white wine sauce, in a saucepan on a medium heat, gently fry the shallot in butter for three minutes without colouring. Add the mushrooms, washed scallop membranes and boiled white wine and cook for a further minute.
Strain the sauce through a fine sieve. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required. Set aside.
Brush the scallops all over with the softened butter and season with salt and pepper.
Divide the vegetable mixture between the four bottom halves of the shells, and place a scallop on top. Season with the salt and pepper, and sprinkle over the chives and chervil. Spoon the white wine sauce over the vegetables in each shell.
Place the other half of the shell on top of each scallop, and wrap each puff pastry strip carefully right around the gap where the shells meet. The seal is important as it will lock in all the juices and flavour as the scallop cooks. The scallop will steam in the shell, cooking very gently and evenly. If the seal is not tight enough then the heat from the oven will enter the shell and overcook the it.
Brush the pastry and top of the shell with the beaten egg.
Place the scallops onto a baking tray, standing each one on a ring of scrunched foil to keep them level, and cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
To serve, arrange a small amount of seaweed salad on each plate and place the cooked scallops in their shells on top. Leave the pleasure of opening them to your guests.
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