We went to the market in Dieppe where you can buy fish almost straight from the boats. The scallop season is in full swing and we decided to buy a few kilos, as well as a halibut that looked nice. The prices in Dieppe are two-thirds of what we pay in our town, but it is a bit of a journey just for some fish.
We also bought the local Neufchâtel cheese, a pungent white raw milk cheese in a heart shape. It is a bit comparable to a good Camembert, less pungent and sticky perhaps.
Back home, I decided to make a dish with halibut and scallops, in French Turbot Saint Jacques, as scallops in French are associated with the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella (Saint Jacques de Compostella in French).
- Four scallops (or more for the stock)
- One halibut of 1.2 kilos
- One shallot
- First I took the ‘noix’ out of the scallops, the white adductor muscle. You cut the meat from the flat shell, open it up and detach the white meat – and any reddish coral – with a spoon, or knife, taking care not to touch the black digestive system lodged next to the muscle. The noix can easily be contaminated and it is best to wear plastic gloves and lay them on paper towel as any remaining liquid on your fingers – onion for instance – will affect the taste. The same goes for the soap you used to clean your hands.
- I removed the black stuff, and cleaned the rest of the scallops.
- I put the noix away on a paper towel in a clean plastic container.
- I put the remains (the beards) of the scallops in a pan with 1.5 litres of water and cooked for half an hour to get a scallop stock.
- I washed the halibut, cut the tail and fins with scissors and put it in a large casserole with some shallots and the scallop stock.
- I allowed it to reach boiling point and then turned it lower and cooked for 25 minutes.
- Then I removed the fish from the pan on paper towels and let it rest a while.
- Meanwhile, I melted some butter in a small frying pan and put four white scallops in it, just two/three minutes on each side.
- I took the fillets from the fish, put them on a plate and added the scallops.
- The taste is great but very subtle and any addition of salt, pepper or lemon will change it drastically. But if you want that, go ahead.