Mamie’s Scallops à la Flamande

As a child, Le Vieux Pin’s Severine Pinte spent idyllic summers at her grandparents’ cottage in the French countryside, near the small fishing village of Étaples. “We used to drive to the dock early in the mornings,” says Sev, “and I would watch, completely mesmerized, as the fishermen quickly opened and released the scallops from the shells. Once home, my mamie would patiently clean the scallops, remove the sand and prepare them to make this dish.” For Sev, this recipe brings back sweet memories of her home in France.

Serves 6

18 medium scallops
2 Tbsp butter
4 cups small white mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on size
1 cup white wine (preferably Le Vieux Pin Petit Blanc)
Juice of 1 lemon

Béchamel Sauce:

2 Tbsp butter
4 shallots, very thinly sliced
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup white wine (preferably Le Vieux Pin Petit Blanc) ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley Salt and pepper

½ cup fine breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Emmenthal cheese

Severine likes to serve this dish on scallop shells, which can be purchased at many kitchen stores. Alternatively, you can use small ramekins.

For the Scallops:
Clean the scallops under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. In a frying pan over low heat, melt the butter and sauté the scallops for about 5 minutes, or until slightly golden on both sides. Set aside.In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the mush-rooms, wine, lemon juice and ¼ cup of water to a simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid for the béchamel sauce.

For the Béchamel Sauce:
In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and sauté the shallots until golden brown. Stir in the flour until all of the butter has been absorbed, then slowly add the reserved liquid from the mushrooms, continuously stirring. Add the white wine. Continue stirring until the béchamel thickens and you can see one or two bubbles coming up, then remove from heat. Stir in the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

To Assemble:
Preheat the oven to broil.
Place three scallops in each scallop shell (or small ramekin) and scatter the mushrooms evenly over each. Top with about 2 Tbsp béchamel sauce per shell and line them up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each serving with breadcrumbs and emmenthal cheese and broil until the cheese is melted and golden, about 2–3 minutes.

Serve immediately.