44 CLASSIC FRENCH MEALS YOU NEED TO TRY BEFORE YOU DIE
Galley Kat needs another challenge.
I have enough recipes stashed away for a good 3 years of provisoining ideas.
But there is still more winter at the end of my tolerance.
The other day I stumbled upon an article:
44 Classic French Meals You Need to Try Before You Die…
I’ve decided to attack these and see how I can modifiy them for basic galley cuisine…
Some may be too ambitious but will have fun trying.
Years ago I was invited to dinner and the host served Coquilles Saint-Jacques.
It was SO good.
And he generously shared his recipe – 4 fulls pages of instruction – so very ‘français’.
I reproduced it from time to time and attention to detail made it worth all the effort.
I have since lost the original and once tried to duplicate it for a recent dinner party.
An internet search brought me to one with lots of details and steps – must be the same?
The results were very disappointing – the sauce indistinguishable from a can of Cream of Mushroom soup.
Discouraged, I haven’t made it since.
But I think the following recipe is pretty close to what I remember from that first encounter..
succulent scallops, juicy mushrooms in a decadent creamy cheesy sauce.
*R.E.D. Coquilles Saint Jacques
Makes 6 appetizer servings
2 sailor-sized servings
6 sea scallops
1.1 oz dried mixed forest mushrooms
3 small shallots, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp Gourmet Garden parsley
**1 tbsp tarragon (see Galley Kat note below)
3/4 cup dry Vermouth
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
6 scallops shells
Rehydrate the mushrooms in boiling water while you gather the rest of the ingredients.
Drain and rinse mushrooms pressing out excess water.
Chop if some of the pieces are large.
Melt 4 tbsp butter in saucepan and add mushrooms, garlic and 1/2 the shallots.
Cook until softened (10-15 minutes).
Stir in parsley and tarragon, season with salt and pepper
and divide amongst the 6 scallop shells.
Add rest of shallots, bay leaf, vermouth and a healthy pinch of salt.
Bring to simmer and add the scallops.
Now here it becomes tricky:
Once scallops and liquid have returned to simmer I would turn off heat, cover and let stand for 2 minutes.
Scallops cook very quickly
and will continue to cook once placed on the warm mushroom mixture
and when later placed on the barbecue.
You don’t want these marvellous sea treasures to turn into hockey pucks.
Remove from liquid and place each on top of mushroom mixture.
Continue to simmer until liquid has been reduced to 1/2 cup.
Set liquid aside.
At this point the Captain should put his glass of wine down and fire up the barbecue.
Add rest of butter to saucepan and stir in flour.
Add the reduced liquid and cream stirring until thickened.
Add cheese, lemon juice and finish with salt and pepper to taste.
If too thick add a bit more cream or vermouth.
Spoon a portion of the cheese mixture over each scallop.
Place scallop shells on the heated barbecue, cover.
When each is nicely browned and bubbly you are ready to serve.
Galley Kat Note:
* This dish was produced using 1 saucepan
(heating the water to rehydrate the mushrooms – I couldn’t quite bring myself to use canned buttons mushrooms – and cooking the sauce & scallops).
and the ‘cockpit barbecue’ (otherwise called the oven broiler until we are back on the water)
After gathering the necessary ingredients the meal was ready to serve in no more than 45 minutes.
** Tarragon was the one ingredient I cheated on
because I had some fresh already in the refrigerator
and the whole leaf garnish dressed it up nicely.
The scallops you ask?…
I imagined docking at a little seaside village,
walking to the local market
and purchasing 6 sea scallops.
Nothing wrong with my imagination.