Coquilles d’Pano


Abstract: My father made this great green window cleaner that he called Pano.  I thought he was trying to work in the family name “Payne” and told him he should change the spelling to Payno.  He quickly reminded me that he wanted to sell the stuff and that people may read Payno as Pay? - No.  The window cleaner was a commercial flop but in memory of Dad, I chose Pano as the moniker for my variation of the classic Coquilles St. Jacque recipe.


Serves: 4 regular people or 2 seafood lovers


Lead time: 40 minutes (if not solving 2nd order non-linear differential equations)


Tools: Small skillet, small mixing bowl, 4 quart sauce pan, 4 ramekins, cheese grater, long tined fork


Bill of Material:

            Extra virgin olive oil                                                   4 tablespoons

            Thyme                                                                         ½ teaspoon

            Tarragon                                                                      ½ teaspoon

            Basil (ground)                                                             ¼ teaspoon

            Sea scallops                                                                 8 large - about 1 pound

            White onion                                                                1 very small

            Heavy cream                                                               8 ounces

            All purpose flour                                                         ¼ cup

            Butter                                                                          2 tablespoons

            Cognac (cheap)                                                           2 tablespoons

            Pinot Grigio (dry white wine)                                     ½ cup

            Cayenne pepper                                                          ⅛ teaspoon

            Curry powder                                                              ¼ teaspoon

            Whole grain bread                                                       6 thin slices

            Gruyere cheese                                                            4 ounces

            Asiago cheese                                                             2 ounces

            Bread crumbs                                                              2 ounces


Assembly Instructions:

            Put olive oil into mixing bowl.  Stir in thyme, tarragon and basil.  Put the skillet on high heat.  Spear a scallop on the fork and dip it into the oil-spice mixture.  Put it into the hot skillet and keep it turning with the fork until lightly browned.  Put it in the baking pan and repeat the process for the rest of the scallops.  Put the baking pan into the oven on the lowest heat to keep warm.

            Dice the onion into fine pieces.  Put heavy cream and onions into sauce pan on medium heat.  Whisk in flour and butter and cognac and wine.  Add cayenne pepper and curry.  Get scallops out of oven and simmer them in the sauce until they are tender - about 4 minutes.  

            Remove crust from bread and cut into shapes to line the bottom of each ramekin.  Coat both sides of the bread with the oil-spice mixture left in the sauce pan. You may have to make some more.  Put 2 scallops in each ramekin on top of the bread.  Grate the Gruyere and whisk it into the simmering sauce.  The final viscosity show be as thick as molasses or honey.  Adjust by adding flour or cream.  Spoon the sauce over the scallops.  Cover with a sprinkling of finely grated Asiago cheese.  Sprinkle a layer of bread crumbs over that.  Put under broiler until golden brown.  Serve and eat.