COQUILLES SAINT-JACQUES GRATINEES (scallop, fennel and dill gratins, for six as a first course)
1 cup finely chopped white part of leek, washed well and drained
1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
1 pound bay scallops, rinsed and patted dry
1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill
½ cup grated Gruyere (about 2 ounces)
dill sprigs and lemon wedges for garnish if desired
1. In a skillet cook the leek and the fennel with salt and pepper to taste in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until the fennel is tender, add the wine and ¼ cup water. and bring liquid to a boil. Boil the liquid until it is reduced by half, add the scallops, and cook them over moderately high heat, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are opaque.
2. In a small bowl knead together the butter and the flour until the beurre manie is combined well, add the beurre manie, at little at a time, to the scallop mixture, stirring, and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer the mixture, stirring, for 2 minutes, stir in the yogurt and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. The mixture may be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance, cooled completely, and chilled in an airtight container. Reheat the mixture over low heat until it is heated through.
3. Stir in the dill, divide the mixture among 6 large scallop shells or small gratin dishes, and top each gratin with some of the Gruyere. Arrange the gratins on a jelly roll pan, broil them under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the Gruyere is melted and golden, and garnish each gratin with a dill sprig and a lemon wedge.