SCALLOPS BONNE FEMME AND SPINACH WITH CRISPY PROSCIUTTO
Bonne femme refers to a good wife or good woman, and every bonne femme knows how to make this classic dish. It is the prettiest 30-minute meal I have ever made. Alert my husband: I think I have finally become a bonne femme, too.
• 5 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 large shallot, finely chopped
• 12 button mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed, and thinly sliced
• 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1/2 cup chicken stock
• 1 cup heavy cream
• A little freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
• Salt and black pepper
• 1 to 2 dashes hot sauce
• 4 thin slices prosciutto
• 20 large sea scallops, trimmed of any connective tissue and patted dry
• 1 cup plain bread crumbs
• A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• 1 garlic clove, cracked from its skin
• 1 pound triple-washed spinach, stems removed
Place an oven rack at the center of the oven and preheat the broiler.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the EVOO and the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the wine. Cook for 30 seconds to reduce a bit, then add the stock and bring to a bubble. Stir in the cream and cook just until heated through. Season the sauce with nutmeg, salt, pepper, and a couple dashes of hot sauce, then reduce the heat to low.
While the sauce is working, cover a baking sheet with foil. Arrange the prosciutto on the sheet and place it under the broiler for 2 minutes on each side to crisp it up. It will continue to crisp as it cools. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and lower the temperature to 400°F.
Heat a large, ovenproof skillet or cast-iron skillet over high heat. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of the EVOO. Place the scallops in the skillet and sear for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side; they should be nicely browned. Cover them with the sauce, top with the bread crumbs and parsley, and place the skillet in the oven for 6 to 7 minutes, or until brown and bubbly.
While the scallops cook, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of EVOO over medium heat with the garlic; cook for 1 minute and remove the garlic. Add the spinach and toss until it wilts. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the scallops with the wilted spinach alongside and top with broken pieces of crispy prosciutto.