SCALLOPS AU GRATIN BATHED IN GARLIC LEEK CREAM WITH GARLIC PANKO CRUST
8 tablespoons butter
1 leek, white and light green parts chopped and rinsed (about 2 cups)
14 large garlic cloves
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup wine
¾ cup heavy cream
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 ½ pounds dry packed sea scallops
4 sprigs fresh thyme
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ cups Jarlsberg Swiss cheese, shredded on the large holes of a box grater
3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Lemon slices and thyme sprigs for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until soft and fragrant. Chop 10 of the garlic cloves and add to the leeks. Cook for another 2 minutes stirring frequently.
Add the salt, wine, and heavy cream to the pan and bring to a low boil. Cook for 7-8 minutes stirring frequently, letting the sauce reduce by half. Add the scallops to the sauce and cook for one minute. Scallops will not be cooked through. Remove from heat.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoon of butter in a large sauce pan. Chop the remaining 4 cloves of garlic and sauté in the butter until fragrant. Add the panko breadcrumbs to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the crumbs are golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
To assemble the gratins, place 2-3 scallops (depending on size) in 8 scallop baking shells or small ramekins for individual servings (this can also be done as a casserole in a shallow baking pan). Spoon additional leek garlic cream from the pan evenly over the tops of the scallops.
Strip the leaves from the stems of the thyme sprigs and sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon over each of the dishes and season with black pepper.
Evenly distribute the shredded Swiss cheese over each of the dishes and then top the cheese with 2-3 tablespoons of the garlic panko crumbs.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the scallops are just cooked through.
Drizzle the lemon juice over the tops and garnish with additional lemon slices and thyme sprigs. Serve hot with a glass of bubbly prosecco! DEVOUR!!