Today, we are presenting a French Kitchen Classic: Coquilles Saint Jacques à la Crème (Scallops in Cream Sauce). This is one of multiple delicious dishes done with scallops in France — a beloved seafood. When in season, one can buy the scallops in their shell at the fish market or even better pick them up during a Sunday drive along the Brittany coast. This requires the extra steps of opening and washing the scallops (using a scallop/clam knife). However, children enjoy watching their papa open the scallop shells, awaiting impatiently for the time they can graduate to do it themslelves!
INGREDIENTS (for 4 servings)
- 12 good size scallops (count 3 scallops per serving)
- 50 g of butter (about 3 TBSP)
- 1 shallot
- 5 cl of white wine (about 3 TBSP)
- About 125 g of crème fraiche (you may use heavy creme instead but your sauce will be more liquidy)
- 1 TBSP of minced parsley (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Dry scallops with paper towels (they’ll brown better).
- Using a knife or food chopper, mince your shallot.
- Melt butter in pan and cook minced shallots for 1-2 minutes over low to medium heat.
- Add scallops and cook on both sides to get an opaque white color. They should not be cooked completely. Put them aside on a covered plate (you’re trying to keep them warm).
- Remove excess fat from the pan leaving just a little bit and add white wine to the hot pan. This technique is called “déglacer” (deglazing) — scraping the caramelized bits of scallops and shallots from the bottom of a pan with liquid which helps make a great tasty sauce. Increase heat to high so the wine maintains a gentle boil. Stir, scrapping the side and bottom of the pan until wine quantity is reduced to about half of the quantity you poured.
- Add the crème fraiche and stir until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
- Return scallops to the sauce in the pan and cook for about 1-2 min stirring scallops gently to coat them with the cream. Don’t overcook otherwise your scallops will feel rubbery.
- Serve in a small, somewhat deep plate or inside a cleaned scallop shell with a fresh slice of baguette. Sprinkle with minced parsley (optional)
A FEW SUGGESTIONS
- Serve as a main course with a rice side dish and a green salad.
- Serve as a 2nd course (after a cold hors d’oeuvre) in a 5 course dinner meal.
- Serve with a white Burgundy wine, a good Chardonnay , or semi-sweet (labelled “demi-sec”) champagne.
Enjoy and bon appétit!!!