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Cooking for Two

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The Roux Brothers believe that cooking is for sharing, and what could be more pleasurable than sharing a meal with a much-loved friend? This book contains recipes for eating on every occasion, from light meals to suit the season to elaborate and formal dinners. The recipes either take very little time to cook, or can be completely prepared in advance, leaving you free to enjoy the company of your guest. All of them can be easily adapted for four or six people by doubling or trebling the given quantities.

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Sample Recipe:

Coquilles Saint-Jacques grillées, nage de vermouth (Grilled scallops with a vermouth nage)

This delicate dish is perfect for the barbecue, the scallops needing no salad or vegetable accompaniment.  It is best eaten with a spoon so that you can enjoy the sauce.

Preparation

The scallops: using a knife with a rigid blade, open the scallops, debeard them and separate the white parts and corals from the beards.  Rinse the beards very thoroughly in cold water and reserve them.  Rinse the white flesh in cold water, pat dry and place in a dish with the olive oil, crushed peppercorns and thyme leaves.  Place in the fridge and leave to marinate for several hours.  Reserve two of the concave shells, for serving.

The sauce; combine the shallots, carrot, bouquet garni, vermouth and scallop beards in a small saucepan.  Stand it either on the edge of the barbecue or over low heat indoors and reduce by two-thirds.  Remove the bouquet garni and scallop beards, then beat the butter into the sauce with a whisk.  Season to taste and keep the sauce warm over low heat.

Cooking the scallops

Pierce the corals with the point of a knife.  Place the scallops and corals on the barbecue or in a grill pan over high, but not excessive heat.  Turn them after 1 minute, then cook until they are attractively patterned and done to your liking.  A 50g scallop will need 4 minutes to be cooked à point (medium).

Presentation

Place the white flesh and corals in the two reserved shells or, if you prefer, in a deep dish and leave in a fairly warm place for 1 – 2 minutes.  Just before serving, pour the warm sauce over or around the scallops.  Garnish each shell with a decoratively carved lemon half and serve immediately.

Ingredients

6 scallops, in their shells if possible

2 tablespoons olive oil

10 white peppercorns, crushed

1 sprig of thyme, preferably lemon thyme

30g shallots, finely chopped

50g carrot finely diced

1 small bouquet garni

100ml dry white vermouth

30g butter

1 lemon, decoratively carved for garnish

Salt and freshly ground pepper