How to Make Coquilles Saint-Jacques

How to Make Coquilles Saint-Jacques Recipes

Coquilles Saint-Jacques is a classic French dish that offers an exquisite seafood experience. The name, which translates to “Scallops Saint James,” refers to both the dish and the main ingredient, scallops. Traditionally served in scallop shells, this dish is a staple in French cuisine, renowned for its elegant presentation and rich, creamy flavors.

The centerpiece of Coquilles Saint-Jacques is the tender, sweet scallops. These are typically seared or poached to bring out their delicate flavor. The scallops are then placed in their shells, or in gratin dishes if shells are not available. The preparation of the scallops is crucial, as they should be cooked just enough to be tender, but not so much that they lose their succulent texture.

The scallops are accompanied by a luxurious sauce, often made with a combination of white wine, cream, and shallots, reduced to a rich and flavorful consistency. Gruyère or another type of Swiss cheese is sometimes added to the sauce, providing a savory depth to the dish. Mushrooms, particularly finely chopped button or cremini mushrooms, are also a common addition, offering an earthy element to the dish.

Once assembled, Coquilles Saint-Jacques is typically gratinéed under a broiler. The top is sprinkled with breadcrumbs and cheese, creating a golden, crispy crust that contrasts beautifully with the creamy scallops beneath. This step not only adds texture but also a visually appealing golden color to the dish.

Coquilles Saint-Jacques is more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of flavors and textures, often served during special occasions or as a part of a sophisticated dinner menu. Its combination of delicate scallops, rich sauce, and crispy gratinéed top makes it a favorite among seafood aficionados and those who appreciate the finesse of French culinary traditions.

How to Make Coquilles Saint-Jacques
Classic Coquilles Saint-Jacques Recipe - French Seafood Elegance

Details How to Make Coquilles Saint-Jacques Recipes

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients For How to Make Coquilles Saint-Jacques Recipes

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup diced shallots
  • ½ pound white button mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 4 large oven-safe scallop shells
  • ¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • 8 fresh tarragon leaves

Instructions: How to Make Coquilles Saint-Jacques Recipes

  • Step 1: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add shallots and sauté until translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, salt, and black pepper; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Step 2: Pour wine into the pan and bring to a boil while scraping the browned bits of food off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon; bring to a simmer. Gently place scallops into wine and poach in the mushroom mixture until barely firm, about 2 minutes per side; transfer scallops to a bowl. Strain mushroom mixture into another bowl, reserving mushrooms and cooking liquid separately.
  • Step 3: Return strained liquid to skillet, pour in any accumulated juices from scallops, and stir in cream. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until cream sauce is reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let mixture cool for 1 minute.
  • Step 4: Quickly whisk egg yolk into cream sauce until combined. Transfer skillet to a work surface (such as a heatproof countertop or cutting board) and stir 2 in teaspoons tarragon, lemon zest, and cayenne pepper.
  • Step 5: Divide mushroom mixture into scallop shells, spreading it out to cover the bottoms of shells; place about 3 scallops onto each portion. Spoon cream sauce over scallops to coat; let sauce drizzle down into mushrooms. Sprinkle lightly with Gruyère cheese and paprika.
  • Step 6: Preheat the oven's broiler. Slightly crinkle a large sheet of aluminum foil and place onto a baking sheet. Place filled shells onto foil and press lightly to help them stay level.
  • Step 7: Broil in the preheated oven until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Step 8: Transfer to serving plates lined with napkins to prevent shells from tipping; garnish each portion with 2 crossed tarragon leaves.

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All Nutrifacts of How to Make Coquilles Saint-Jacques Recipes

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe4
% Daily Value *
Total Fat22g28%
Saturated Fat12g62%
Total Carbohydrate8g3%
Dietary Fiber1g3%
Total Sugars2g
Vitamin C4mg20%

TOP 5+ FAQ How to Make Coquilles Saint-Jacques Recipes

✅What type of scallops should be used in Coquilles Saint-Jacques?

Use fresh, high-quality sea scallops for Coquilles Saint-Jacques. They should be plump and slightly translucent. Sea scallops are preferred for their size and sweet flavor, which is key to the dish's luxurious taste.

✅How can the sauce for Coquilles Saint-Jacques be prepared?

The sauce is typically made with a reduction of white wine, cream, and shallots, simmered until thickened. You can add Gruyère cheese for extra richness. The sauce should be creamy and flavorful, complementing the delicate taste of the scallops.

✅Can Coquilles Saint-Jacques be made without alcohol?

Yes, the dish can be prepared without alcohol. Substitute the white wine with a mixture of white grape juice and vinegar or just a rich seafood or vegetable broth to maintain the depth of flavor in the sauce.

✅What is the best way to achieve a perfect gratinéed top?

For a perfect gratinéed top, sprinkle breadcrumbs and cheese over the scallops and sauce. Broil in the oven until the top is golden and crispy. This not only adds texture but also a visually appealing golden color to the dish.

✅How should Coquilles Saint-Jacques be served for the best experience?

Serve Coquilles Saint-Jacques hot, directly after gratinéeing. They are traditionally served in scallop shells or small gratin dishes. Accompany with a light salad or fresh bread to complement the rich, creamy flavors of the dish.
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