— James Beard
And here's what it tasted like:
Give yourself a taste of India and give this recipe a try. Roshel might be from the state of
When I saw this French cooking bible, I Know How to Cook, at the Phaidon store in Piccadilly I knew I had to have it. It's not surprising I was attracted to this 2.5kg tome, as I have a life-long passion for all things French - the language, the art, the fashion, not to mention the food! It is the equivalent of the Italian must-have classic, The Silver Spoon, which is also published by Phaidon.
You've probably never heard of 'Je Sais Cuisiner' by Ginette Mathiot even though it's been around since the 1930s. Previously only available in French, it has been lovingly translated into English by blogger and food writer, Clotilde Dusoulier, of Chocolate and Zuchinni. As if the 1400 recopies aren't enough encouragement to buy this, there are also the pages of gorgeous illustrations by French illustrator, Blexbolex, which are pretty enough to frame.
After much deliberation, I used three recipes from the book, Scallop Gratin (p278), Four Berry Jelly (p677) and Potatoes Dauphinoise (p421). Being a visual type who likes to know what I am aiming for, I chose the recipes with pictures, though the majority of the recipes don't have them.
After an entire weekend of shopping (including a trip to Borough Market), preparing and cooking, the event itself went very smoothly. The recipes were reasonable to follow, though probably not for the absolute beginner as they are a little light on instruction.
The prettiest and most successful of the recipes was Scallop Gratin – why don’t you give it a shot!?!
Scallop Gratin (adapted from I know how to cook)
24 scallops in the shell (at least 8 in the shell)
4 Tblsp. butter
2 shallots, chopped finely
Small handful of flat leaf parsley
160g mushrooms chopped
2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
300ml of any stock
1 egg yolk
Dried breadcrumbs to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C/425 degrees F/Gas Mark 7. Remove the scallops from the shells removing the back muscle and wash the meat and the corals. Scrub the shells to clean and blanch them in a pan of boiling water. Allow to cool and dry.
Arrange the cleaned shells on a baking dish. Bring 200ml of salted water to the boil; add the scallops and poach for 1 minute. Drain, dry and set aside. In 2T Butter in a frying pan over a medium high heat, add the shallot, parsley and mushrooms and cook until the shallot is softened, off the heat and set aside.
Melt the remaining 2T butter, when it is at the point of smoking add the flour and stir until it is a light fawn colour. Gradually add the wine and stock stirring constantly. Reduce the temperature to a low heat and whisk in the egg yolk to bind everything together then add the scallops and the mushroom mixture. Spoon the mixture into the shells, 3 scallops per shell, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and bake for 10 minutes.