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Scallops with Garlic, Tomatoes, Basil, and Thyme


I generally dislike recipes that make you refer back to several others, but bear with me on this one, it's worth it. I can't remember a wintertime visit to my favourite French restaurant when I didn't order  a sample their gigantic, sizzling portions coquilles Saint-Jacques. I have to confess, I've altered their recipe a bit, adding the thyme and the basil, and cooking the garlic a bit longer. When garlic is cooked a long while in oil, I find it's much more digestible. At home I serve this with a crisp white wine, say a Riesling.

 COQUILLES SAINT-JACQUES

Scallops with Garlic, Tomatoes, Basil, and Thyme

Ingredients
Provencal Roast Tomatoes
Garlic Confit (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon poultry fat
12 large sea scallops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper Pinch of thyme
24 fresh basil leaves, rinsed and pat¬ted dry

Preperation
An hour or so before you plan to serve the scallops, prepare and
bake the Provencal Roast Tomatoes. At the same time, prepare the Garlic
Confit (recipe below) or warm the previously pre¬pared garlic in a small saucepan and keep warm.
In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the poultry fat until hot but not sizzling.
 Add the scallops and cook until almost opaque all the way through., about three minutes on each side. Once cooked, season the scallops generously with pepper, and thyme. You may want to cook the scallops in batches. If so, keep the cooked scallops warm, next to the cooker or  stove, but don't place in the oven or they will become tough. 
Place three scallops on each of four warmed dinner plates. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and sprinkle on top of the scallops. Spoon on several garlic cloves and a touch of oil alongside each. Place 2 baked tomatoes alongside and serve immediately.

Garlic Confit

1 cup (25 cl) large garlic cloves About 1 cup
(25 cl) extra-virgin olive oil
1. Peel  the  garlic  cloves  and combine with oil to cover in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is tender, about 20 minutes.

2. The garlic can be served immediately, or preserved indefinitely.

3. To store, allow the mixture to cool and transfer to a jar, making sure the garlic is covered with the oil. Refrig¬erate. To serve, remove the garlic
from the oil and warm in a saute pan over low heat. The oil can be used
to prepare a flavourful vinaigrette.

4 servings

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