Seafood In Mornay Sauce


Seafood in Mornay Sauce is what I made for a special holiday-time dinner this evening. Oh-My-Goodness but this is absolutely divine. It is not that hard to make, but will receive multitudes of oohhs and aahhs. Serve over rice with a simple salad on the side and you have a complete meal that is extra special and makes it look like you spent hours in the kitchen. Here's how I put mine together.

There is a great "fish guy", Mr. Ed, who comes up to our area from the Gulf of Louisiana every couple of weeks from the summer through Christmas. He is here this week with everything super fresh - it is his last trip to town for awhile. My husband was in the area and picked up about 10-12 jumbo shrimp and about a half dozen or so large scallops. This is what I used for my recipe tonight.

You can make this with one seafood ingredient or as many as you desire. I've had it with a combination of lobster, shrimp, scallops and crab - just pick what you like and use it.

It goes together pretty fast, so have everything ready when you get started cooking.

First thing I do is put my rice on to simmer. Use whatever rice you like - a long grain white, an arborio, a basmati - whatever sounds good to you. Tonight I used an arborio rice.

For the 5 of us, I put one cup of rice to two cups of water, bring to a boil, then simmer slowly until the rice is soft and the water is gone. The only rule of thumb you need to remember for successful rice is water 2:1 over rice. Bring to a boil, then simmer SLOWLY, uncovered, until the rice is tender.

While the rice cooked, I cleaned my seafood. I quartered the scallops - not too small or they'll cook too quickly and get tough. I peeled, cleaned and de-veined the shrimp, then cut it into bite-size pieces.

I took a large saute pan and melted 1/2 cup of butter. When the butter is completely melted, put in the seafood and cook over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes. You don't want to overcook the seafood. Add a dash of salt. Remove the seafood from the pan and place in a bowl. Set seafood aside.

To the remaining butter in the pan, add 1/2 cup of flour and whisk for about 2 minutes to create a nice roux. You don't want it to get too brown, as the mornay sauce is a creamy white sauce. Once the roux is ready, add 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of heavy cream. Add fresh black pepper to taste. Continue to whisk to keep any lumps from forming. The cream sauce will start to thicken. Continue to stir for about 5 minutes.

Your rice should be done by now - remove it from the heat. Turn the heat off under your cream sauce and add your seafood back into the cream sauce. Stir gently and add 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Your seafood mornay is now ready to serve over the rice. Top with a little freshly grated parmesan. Be careful - it is very filling! We enjoyed ours tonight with freshly made cranberry-pineapple relish and a mixed sprout salad. Lovely and delicious!

Oh yes, after such a filling meal, we took the girls for a walk around the block to look at Christmas lights! Gotta do something to work off all that butter and cream!



1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt to taste
fresh black pepper to taste
Your choice of seafood: shrimp, scallops, lobster, crab

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Lightly saute seafood over medium-low heat, remove from pan and set aside. Whisk flour into remaining butter over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and heavy cream - continue to whisk to prevent lumps and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add seafood back to cream sauce and add in the parmesan cheese. Stir, then serve immediately over rice. Top with additional freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. Delicious with a simple salad on the side.