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Coquilles St. Jacques

6 - 8 scallops (fresh or frozen)
1 shallot or small onion, sliced
6 peppercorns
1/2 bayleaf
scant 1/4 pint water
squeeze lemon juice
2 tomatoes
1 oz butter
1 rounded Tbs flour
1/4 pint creamy milk
1 tsp finely chopped parsley
brown breadcrumbs
a little extra butter

1 lb potatoes
1/2 ozs butter
1 Tbs hot milk

First make the potato puree. Peel and boil potatoes, drain and
dry them, then beat them to a puree with the milk and butter. Put
scallops in a pan with the sliced shallot or onion, seasonings and
bayleaf. Pour on the water, add the lemon juice and poach gently
for 5 minutes. (Do not let the scallops boil because this toughens
them.) Scald and skin the tomatoes, cut into four, remove seeds,
then cut flesh in four again. Melt the butter in a pan, remove
from hat and stir in the flour. Blend in the liquid strained from
the scallops. Stir over a gentle heat until liquid starts to
thicken, then add the milk and bring to the boil.

Simmer for 2 - 3 minutes, taste for seasoning, then add prepared
tomatoes and parsley.

Slice or quarter the scallops and put into 4 - 6 buttered deep
scallop shells; spoon over the sauce. Pipe potato puree around
each shell, sprinkle lightly with brown breadcrumbs and a few tiny
shavings of extra butter.

If you prepare dish early in the day, put it in a hot oven 400 F
for 10 - 15 minutes to heat through. If freshly cooked and scallops,
potatoes and sauce are hot, put under the grill to glaze and brown
the potatoes.


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