Recipe: Bay Scallops in Mignonnette Sauce

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Try to get bay scallops for this dish, but if they are unavailable you can substitute sea scallops, cut into 4 to 6 pieces. My market usually has small Nantucket bay scallops, each about the size of a large cherry. They are very sweet, tender, and delicious raw. I marinate them for a couple of hours in a mignonnette sauce, traditionally made of shallots, coarse black pepper, and vinegar, to which I add mustard and olive oil. Pieces of crunchy, spicy radish add texture and taste. I serve this dish as a refreshing appetizer in scallop or oyster shells with a fine julienne of cucumber on top.

4 first-course servings

Remove any adductor muscles still attached to the scallops.

Combine the vinegar, mustard, oil, shallot, salt, and pepper in a bowl large enough to hold the scallops. One to 2 hours before serving time, combine the scallops with the sauce ingredients in the bowl and refrigerate.

Peel the cucumber and cut 6 to 8 long strips of flesh from it with a vegetable peeler. Pile the strips together and cut them into a fine julienne or thin, spaghetti-like strips.

At serving time, add the radish to the scallops and mix well. Divide the scallops among four scallop shells, oyster shells, or small plates and sprinkle the julienned cucumber on top. Serve.

Episode 223: Dessert First!

When in doubt, start with dessert! It's easy to do when you use a tortilla for the crust as Jacques does in his Crisp Pear Tart. Fresh bay scallops are shown in the shell at their very best (and become too tempting for Jacques who can't resist nibbling on them) in the light and vibrant Bay Scallops in Mignonnette Sauce. For a homier dish, Jacques shares his comforting Sausage Patties with Pumpkin Seeds and Mushrooms served with Cornmeal Mush.

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Minute Recipe: Savory Iceberg Cups

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I fill everything from tortillas to wonton skins to phyllo with cheese, ham, salad, olives, sausage, or meatballs. For a light, crunchy, delicate, low-calorie wrap, I sometimes use the center leaves of iceberg lettuce, which are shaped like cups and are easy to fill, wrap, and eat.

From 1 head iceberg lettuce, remove 8 center leaves, each about the size of your cupped hands held together. Arrange them side by side on a platter. In a bowl, mix together 1 cup crumbled (1/2-inch pieces) feta cheese, 1 cup (1/2-inch pieces) drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, 1 cup (1/2-inch pieces) chopped red bell pepper or pimiento, 1 cup pitted spicy green olives, whole if small or cut into 1/2-inch pieces, and 1 teaspoon chopped garlic. Add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, and 3/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Divide among the iceberg lettuce cups. Wrap the cups to enclose the filling, if you like, or serve as is.

Makes 8 hors d'oeuvre wraps