Jacques Pépin’s Scallops Grenobloise

SOURCE: Jacques Pépin

YIELD: 8 first-course servings or 4 main-course servings

2 slices white bread
2 1/2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
1 lemon
1 pound large scallops (about 16), rinsed under cold water to remove any sand
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup diced (1/2-inch) white mushrooms (about 3)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bread into a 1/2-inch dice and toss the bread with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Spread the pieces on a cookie sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned. Set aside.

Peel the lemon, removing the skin and the white pith underneath. Cut between the membranes to remove totally clean segments of lemon flesh. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces until you have about 2 tablespoons diced lemon flesh.

Remove any abductor muscles still attached to the scallops. Sprinkle them with the salt, pepper, and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot, then add the scallops. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. They should be nicely browned. Arrange 4 scallops on each of four serving plates and sprinkle on the lemon pieces, capers, and bread cubes.

Heat the butter in a small skillet and add the mushrooms. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the butter browns lightly (this is called noisette butter). Add the vinegar. Spoon the sauce over the scallops, sprinkle the parsley on top, and serve.

Jacques Pépin prepared this dish during the one-of-a-kind televised Chefs in the City 2011 event hosted by WOSU Public Media. This recipe is also shown in his cookbook More Fast Food My Way (page 77) with the excerpt below:

A traditional sauce for fish and shellfish, grenobloise consists of diced lemon flesh, capers, and croutons. Here I add mushrooms. This recipe is a winner and works equally well with fish or shrimp. I prefer to use large diver scallops from a reputable fishmonger. Avoid scallops with milky juice seeping out of them, an indication that they have been soaked in a solution to plump them, often the mark of inferior quality.

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