There are dozens of delicious scallop casserole recipes, and Baked Scallops in Mornay Sauce is a family favorite. Perfect for entertaining, this dish maybe assembled as early as a day in advance, and then cooked right before serving. For an elegant supper, I like to bake and serve the casserole in individual dishes, even scallop shells. For a potluck gathering, a large casserole dish is easier to transport to the festivities.
Mornay sauce is the French Béchamel sauce, to which cheese has been added. For those that have never prepared this classic white sauce, I encourage you to give it a try.
Start by making a roux of melted butter and flour. Melt the butter in a saucepan and whisk in the flour. It will quickly become quite thick. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, continuing to whisk, until you have a thickened sauce. Some folks like to warm the milk, and find it easier to whisk into the roux. The more butter and flour you use per cup of milk, the thicker the sauce.
Don’t despair if at first you fail to produce a smooth sauce and don’t like the lumps. Throw it out and try again. Mistakes are how we perfect our craft, and I’m still learning!
The skies were grey and it was spitting snow as I slipped these tasty casseroles in the oven. We had just finished packaging up some scallops for the freezer. My mouth watered as I envisioned all meals we’d be enjoying with our stash of creamy pink, sweet bivalve mollusks.
Sipping a glass of white wine and basking in the warmth of the fire, I was grateful for all the bounty that our cold Maine waters provided.
BAKED SCALLOPS IN MORNAY SAUCE
- 1 pound Maine scallops
- 8 ounces mushrooms finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup grated cheese (cheddar Swiss, Parmesan, Gruyere, Fontina)
- sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Remove the muscle from the scallops, rinse and pat dry. Divide between 4 individual ramekins or small casserole dishes.
- To prepare the sauce: In a saucepan on top of the stove, gently melt one tablespoon of butter.
- Whisk in the flour. Slowly add the milk, whisking, and cook until the mixture thickens. Whisk in the cheese and stir until melted. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper.
- Sauté the chopped mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter until they give up their water. Divide the mushrooms evenly between the scallop casseroles.
- Cover each casserole with about 1/3 cup of sauce. Sprinkle the tops with chopped fresh parsley. Bake in a 375-degree oven until bubbly and the scallops are cooked, about 20 minutes.
- To complete the meal, serve with brown rice or a baked potato, peas, and dilled baby carrots.
- Makes four servings.