This needs an equally classic wine – white burgundy. Spoil yourself with the gorgeous Christophe Camu Chablis 2017 (£17.25 Yapp Brothers, 12%). FB
bit part in comparison, which feels like a shame.
As Munchies proves, you don’t need much more than a light sprinkle of cheese to top these (Bareham and Hopkinson reckon that this is “one of those rare occasions… where the combination of cheese with fish is, perhaps, no bad thing”), but even nicer, we think, are the crunchy breadcrumbs favoured by Elizabeth David, Child and the French Masterchefs – the first notes in French Provincial Cooking that, “a scrap of finely chopped garlic … and a little parsley can be mixed in”, too. This suggests to me the vivid green crumbs often also found on oysters Rockefeller – the ideal showstopper for the Christmas table. Parmesan is
optional – I don’t think it’s needed, but, in the spirit of the season, I shan’t judge you for disagreeing.
Ask the fishmonger to clean the scallops for you, leaving you just the shells, white flesh and orange corals (or do it yourself with a sharp knife: gently detach the scallops from their shells, then pull off and discard the frill and black stomach sack). Save the corals for another use – I like them on toast – and set aside the deeper half-shell for later.
Melt a tablespoon of the butter in a small pan over a medium-low heat, then add the shallots and sweat until soft – about seven minutes. Add the wine, bring to a simmer, then add the scallop meat and cook for a minute, turning once halfway, scoop out and set aside. Pour the sauce into the halfshells, add the poached scallops, then top with parsley breadcrumbs Prep Cook Makes 5 min 15-20 min 6
6 large dive-caught scallops, on the shell, cleaned
2 tbsp butter 2 banana shallots or 4 round ones, peeled and finely chopped
150ml white wine 5 tbsp double cream
For the topping 2 tbsp butter
1 small garlic clove, peeled and flattened 10 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
6 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Simmer the wine until it’s almost completely evaporated, take off the heat, stir in the cream and season.
Meanwhile, put the remaining butter in a small pan with the garlic clove on a low heat and, when melted, lift out and discard the garlic. Whizz together the parsley and breadcrumbs in a food processor until green (or chop them together with a sharp knife), then stir in the butter and season to taste.
Heat the grill to medium-high. Divide the creamy shallots between the six reserved half-shells, and put the scallops on top, followed by the breadcrumbs. Grill for about three minutes, until golden and bubbling, and serve at once.
The Guardian aims to publish recipes for fish rated as sustainable by the Marine Conservation Society’s Good Fish Guide. Grill the scallops for about three minutes, until golden and bubbling, then serve at once