French in a Flash: Creamy Broiled Scallops Mornay

French In A Flash

Quick and easy recipes that prove that great French food doesn't require a tall hat and a fancy kitchen.


[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

I wouldn't necessarily recommend going to Ireland to find French food inspiration, but I was in Kerry last weekend, and that's just what happened. I was in a little pub called The Blue Bull in the blink-and-you-missed-it town of Sneem, and I ordered what I thought was very usual: scallops mornay. I don't often mix seafood and dairy (excepting, of course, cream in my mussels), but I wanted to eat something at once light and decadent, so I ordered it.

I had the most gorgeous sea scallops and roe, toasted in their shells, on a bed of piped mashed potatoes, under a bronzed blanket of cheddar cheese béchamel, or mornay. And I thought, what a great idea.

Here's my version: sweet, tender bay scallops and puny Paris mushrooms, broiled under a bubbling blanket of béchamel laced with nutty Gruyère. Serve it right from the oven with a handful of parsley and a steaming baguette, and you have this incredibly rustic, simple, atypical, and delicious dinner that's—as usual on French in a Flash—really easy, but worthy of company.

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Creamy Broiled Scallops Mornay »