Irish Butter-Poached Scallops with Leeks and Sweet Garden Peas

from Cindy's Supper Club

Serves 6

Gremolata
1 cup coarsely shredded dried bread crumbs
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or chives

Leeks and Peas

1 large leek, white and light green parts only, outer 
layers discarded and thinly sliced (3 - 3 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons crème fraîche or heavy cream
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
7 grinds of black pepper
1 3/4 to 2 cups shelled fresh or frozen English peas

12 to 18 jumbo scallops, depending on everyone’s appetite
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup clarified Irish butter
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
Watercress sprigs, for garnish

To make the gremolata, preheat the oven to 350°F. 
Put thebread crumbs in a small bowl, drizzle with
the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss
to coat evenly. Spread in a pie pan or small baking
sheetand toast for 7 to 8 minutes, until golden brown. 
Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Just 
before serving,stir in the garlic, lemon zest,
and parsley.

To prepare the leeks and peas, in a saucepan,
combine the leek, butter, crème fraîche, water, salt, 
and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a
simmer and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the leeks
are a little tender and the sauce is reducing. Use your
best judgment as to when to add the peas. If they
are fresh but starchy they may take some time, so add 
them as soon as the leeks start to soften. If they
are frozen, they may take just 2 to 3 minutes,
so add them at the end.
Shake the pan occasionally during cooking
to change what is on the bottom of the pan with what
is on the top. Cook until the vegetables are tender.

Once the vegetables are cooking, season the scallops on
both sides with salt and pepper. In a big
sauté pan (large enough to hold all of the scallops
in a single layer),
melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter
is hot and foamy, add the scallops and poach gently for
3 to 5 minutes, basting as needed, until just done. They
are ready when they feel just firm to the touch.

To serve, spoon the vegetables into individual
deep plates or shallow soup bowls and top with
the scallops. Add the lemon zest and juice to the butter
from the scallop pan, then drizzle over the scallops.
Sprinkle with some of the gremolata and garnish with
the watercress.