Tomorrow is… Valentine’s’ Day. Either you love it, or you dread it. Whether you have a significant other, don’t want a significant other, or love LOVE Valentines’ Day usually requires some sort of work or thought in the darkest, snowiest, time of the year; a time where I usually want to hunker down, take a nap, and draw the curtains.
Regardless, this burden, or celebration (whichever you choose) of Valentine’s Day usually ends up requiring some sort of effort no matter how hard you resist. Nick and I usually remember it is Valentine’s Day halfway through the day and then go buy the largest, juiciest, steaks we can find.
This weekend, I bought a pound of sea scallops, a few potatoes, light cream, and parmesan cheese. I set out to make the most comforting, velvety, sexy, fool-proof dish. Scalloped potatoes cooked until almost finished, with seared sea scallops added on top with a touch more of sauce and panko. Baked until bubbly- cue the Al Greene now.
This dish is decadent, rich, flavorful and warming. Serve it with a simple green salad dressed with citrus and vinegar. The acid will help break up the rich flavors in the warm dish.
2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
2 medium-sized Yukon Gold Potatoes (sliced VERY thin)*
½ Stick Salted Butter
3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1 ½ Cups Light Cream
¼ Cup Cooking Sherry **
¼ Cup Chicken Broth
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese (shredded) + ½ cup (reserved on the side).
2 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
⅓ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 lb. Fresh Sea Scallops
*Use a mandolin to cut the potatoes to the width of a thick-cut potato chip. Or, slice them yourself being VERY careful. Our Food Processor has a Mandolin attachment, check if yours does too!
**Cooking Sherry can be found in the vinegar aisle.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a small Pyrex baking dish. We used a 9” x 9” pan.
- In a large saute pan, melt butter and add garlic. Lightly sautéing the garlic until you can smell it.
- In saute pan, slowly cover the butter mixture with flour, mixing to form a rue. Your rue should be the consistency of cookie dough, be very careful to not overcook the rue. If the paste is not coming together, add more flour; in this case, it is much easier to UNDER-flour and add more flour than it is to have to add more butter.
- When the rue is formed, pour in the Cooking Sherry and Chicken Broth. Mix together.
- Add Nutmeg and salt and pepper to saute pan.
- When liquid has cooked down, about 2 minutes, add the cream.
- Stir thoroughly, taste for salt and pepper.
- Add ½ cup of parmesan cheese into the saute pan. Mix until the sauce has started to thicken. When first round of parmesan is incorporated add the remaining ½ cup of the cheese designated for cooking.
- Spoon a thin layer of sauce into baking dish.
- Layer potatoes in one even layer on the bottom of baking dish.
- Spread cheese sauce over the layer of potatoes.
- Sprinkle some of the reserved parmesan over the cream sauce.
- Repeat steps 10-12 until all the potatoes have been used.
Place baking dish of scalloped potatoes in oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes until cheese is bubbling and potatoes are cooked.
- When the scalloped potatoes are nearly finished heat a saute pan on high with olive oil.
- Add the scallops, searing on each flat side, about 1 minute on each side.
- Remove baking dish from oven, place scallops on top of scalloped potatoes and cover with remaining sauce.
- Sprinkle panko over the scallops.
- Place back in oven and cook for 5-10 minutes until breadcrumbs are brown and the sauce is bubbling, feel free to broil to get a golden crust but do not overcook the scallops!
- Let cool slightly before serving. Turn on slow jams…
*Pinot Grigio or Vinho Verde pair very nicely with this dish.*