Scallops and Prawns in Garlic Cheese Sauce with Sesame Top

This is a very delicious and popular dish. It is impressive for dinner parties and is not difficult, although it has several ingredients which have to be cooked separately. But it can be prepared well in advance and heated up if necessary. I would do those flat egg noodles, well buttered, with it, and a crisp cos lettuce, parsley and tomato salad with perhaps some crusty bread to mop up the sauce. If there are no scallops about it tastes very good with the frozen ones you get in frozen food centres. If you have any saffron it is especially good for the sauce, but saffron is expensive so you can just use turmeric if you like or neither.

Ingredients

  • 6 scallops or ¾ lb frozen scallops (350 g)
  • 6 oz peeled prawns (175 g)
  • ½–¾ lb mushrooms (225–350 g)
  • 1 large pimento (red if possible)
  • pints milk (845 ml)
  • oz cornflour (40 g)
  • oz butter (40 g)
  • 2 large cloves garlic – crushed
  • 6 oz grated cheese (175 g)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • about 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
  • pinch of saffron or a teaspoon of powdered tumeric
  • fennel leaves – fresh if possible but otherwise dried
  • salt, black pepper
  • a little olive oil and butter to fry in

Method

Add the crushed garlic, salt and pepper to 1 pint of milk (570 ml) and simmer the scallops in it for 15–20 minutes. Take out the scallops reserving the milk they were cooked in and arrange with the prawns in a large ovenproof gratinée dish. Chop up the pimento into small strips and fry gently in a little olive oil and butter until soft. Add to the scallops and prawns. Cut the mushrooms in half and sauté them in the same pan until just cooked, do not leave them until they shrink too much. Add these to the other ingredients in the gratinée dish and sprinkle with chopped fennel leaves. Melt ½ oz butter (40 g) in a fairly heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the cornflour and then the milk the scallops were cooked in and another ½ pint (275 ml). Bring to the boil, stirring. Stir in the cheese and saffron and simmer gently for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Break the egg yolks with a fork, stir a little sauce into them quickly and then stir this mixture back into the main bulk of the sauce. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the mixture in the gratinée dish. Sprinkle the sesame seeds thickly all over the top, dot with butter and put under a hot grill until golden brown all over. Put the dish in a very low oven Gas ½ (175°F/80°C) for about half an hour before serving.

,