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!
Scallops in Cream Sauce (Coquilles Saint Jacques à la crème)
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!!!