Valentine Warner's classic recipe for scallops in a bubbling cheese makes a gourmet appetizer or light meal for two.
- Total time30 mins
- Serves 2
- 6 large diver caught scallops, shucked (keep the shells)
- sunflower oil
- 25g butter
- 1 level tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp dry white wine
- 40g gruyère, finely grated
Pour 1 teaspoon of oil on a small plate. Heat a small frying pan over high heat. Take a scallop and dip both sides in the oil. Season with a little salt. Repeat the process with the other scallops. When the pan is very hot, add the scallops and cook them for about 30 seconds on each side until they are golden brown but only very lightly cooked. Transfer them to a plate.
Melt the butter in a small skillet and use a small wire whisk to stir in the flour. Cook the flour for about 30 seconds, but don't burn it or you'll have to start over. Gradually add 125 ml of milk and the wine. Cook for a minute or two, whisking constantly, then add a pinch of salt and the Gruyere cheese.
Whisk until the cheese has melted and the is smooth and glossy - it should coat the back of a spoon without slipping. Add another 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk until you have the right consistency. Season with salt and ground white pepper.
Cut the scallops in half horizontally and place meaty pieces side by side in the deepest part of each scallop. Spoon the Mornay over them and place them on a sturdy baking sheet. Support each scallop with a small piece of foil so that the stays level around each scallop.
Heat the grill to its hottest setting. Grill near the heating element for about 2½ minutes or until the is lightly browned and bubbling.