Coquilles Saint Jacques is the French word for scallops. Classic French dish that has been gracing tables all over the world.
It always held a bit of mystery to me and it took a try to make it and quite the opposite happened: Super easy to make.
Nothing more delightful than tender scallops, or bay scallops, nestled in a bed of mushrooms, cream, and wine topped with bubbly cheese under the broiler. The individual gratin dish makes for a dramatic table presentation.
When shopping for fresh scallops they should be of a pale pink or bluish tint. Ensure that they all are the same size so they all will evenly cook too.
How to serve the Coquille Saint Jacques
You can serve the coquilles as an appetizer, however, just serve two scallops instead.
Or, enjoy them as a first course or as a light lunch with a light green salad on the side.
Rich in flavor a mixed green salad or steamed spinach is an appropriate side dish to go alongside the scallops.
I like to use individual gratin dishes, however, if you have or can found some “coquilles” which means shells, use them for a beautiful table presentation.
I also will recommend a chilled glass of your favorite white wine: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc, some of my suggestions, to be enjoyed alongside the Coquilles St. Jacques. The balance of the two is fantastic.
And as with anything you cook with wine, make sure it is the same wine you will enjoy with your family and guests. A good wine always makes a great dish when cooked with it.
- Have the skillet very hot and add the scallops to the skillet in a clockwise pattern. They should not sear longer than 2 minutes per side.
- Gently nudge them to see if they are cooked. A simple shaking of the pan or light touch. Turn them over once done and sear the other side.
- Lightly flour and cook the mushrooms once they are nicely brown. Do NOT add any salt to the mushroom while you are trying to brown them. The salt will induce all the moisture out of the mushrooms which will remain soggy instead of browning.
- Types of mushrooms: crimini, white caps, or wild mushrooms.
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Coquilles Saint Jacques
- 25 mins total
- 5 mins prep
- 20 mins cook
- serves 4 people
12 medium sea scallops
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces mixed mushrooms, chopped
2 shallots, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 garlic clove minced
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup freshly grated Comte cheese
Blot and dry the sea scallops.
Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Sear the scallops on both sides for about 1-2 minutes per side, flipping once. When easily lifted with a pair of cooking tongs, transfer to a plate.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Stir in the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to brown and soften, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallots and garlic and cook until the shallots are tender. Season with the remaining salt and pepper.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms mixture and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute. Deglaze the skillet with the wine, stirring to loosen any bits that stock to the skillet.
Stir in the cream and oregano and bring to a simmer. Return the scallops and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Return to a simmer and remove the skillet from the heat.
Preheat the broiler to high.
Evenly divide among four shallow stoneware dishes.
Nestle 3 scallops into each dish. Sprinkle each dish with some of the Comte cheese. Broil until the cheese is browned and bubbling, 3 minutes. Serve hot.
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