Are you looking for a dish that screams “classic French dish” but is easy to prepare and doesn’t require any fancy culinary skills? Then you’re in the right place. Coquilles Saint Jacques, also known as scallops in white wine, is a traditional French seafood dish that is both elegant and delicious.
This recipe has been around for centuries, with different variations and techniques passed down from generation to generation. It’s named after Saint James (St. Jacques in French), the patron saint of pilgrims, and has become a staple for special occasions or romantic dinners.
I’m excited to share with you my version of this classic dish. It combines fresh bay scallops, a dry white wine, and a creamy base that is flavored with a variety of herbs and spices. The dish is then topped with breadcrumbs and baked until golden brown.
The beauty of coquilles Saint Jacques is its simplicity, yet it’s complex flavors will make your taste buds dance with joy. I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it just as much as my family and I do.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you looking for a fancy yet easy-to-make dinner recipe that will impress your guests and make them think you’re a culinary genius? Look no further than this classic French dish – Coquilles Saint Jacques, or scallops in white wine.
First of all, let’s talk about the star ingredient: bay scallops. These little guys are sweet, tender, and succulent, making them a delicious seafood option for any palate. But what really elevates this dish is the white wine sauce – it’s rich and buttery, with just the right amount of acidity from the lemon juice to balance out the cream. And let’s not forget about the shallots and garlic, which add depth and complexity to the flavor profile.
Not only is this recipe delicious, it’s also incredibly versatile. You can serve it as an appetizer for a fancy dinner party or as a main course alongside some crusty bread and a green salad. Plus, it pairs well with a variety of wines – try it with a dry white like Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc to really bring out the flavors in the sauce.
And let’s be honest here – who doesn’t love a good baked scallop dish? It’s comforting, satisfying, and always hits the spot. In fact, this recipe is so good that it’s been featured by culinary heavyweights like Ina Garten and Julia Child.
So why will you love this recipe? Because it’s easy to make, tastes amazing, and is sure to impress your friends and family. Don’t believe me? Give it a try yourself – I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Scallops and Wine Mixture:
- 2 lbs. bay scallops
- 1 cup dry white wine (made from chenin blanc or sauvignon blanc grapes)
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Butter and Cream Mixture:
- 2 tbsp. sweet butter
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
Option A: Traditional breadcrumbs
Option B: Mashed potatoes
This recipe uses bay scallops and a delicious dry white wine mixture to give the dish its classic French flavor. The recipe also calls for a flavorful butter and cream mixture that adds a rich creaminess to the scallops. As for the topping, you can choose between traditional breadcrumbs or a whipped batch of mashed potatoes.
The Recipe How-To
Step 1: Preheat the oven.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Step 2: Prepare the Scallops.
Rinse and drain two pounds of bay scallops. Season with two teaspoons of salt and two tablespoons of lemon juice. Set aside.
Step 3: Sauté Shallots and Mushrooms.
In a large pan, melt two tablespoons of sweet butter over medium heat. Add one small sliced onion and two finely chopped shallots. Sauté until the onions are translucent. Add one cup of fresh mushrooms and sauté for another two minutes.
Step 4: Make the Roux.
Add one and a half tablespoons of all-purpose flour to the pan and stir for one minute. Gradually whisk in a quarter cup of dry white wine until smooth. Whisk in one-fourth cup of milk and keep stirring until thickened.
Step 5: Add Bouquet Garni
Stir in a bouquet garni (one garlic clove, several peppercorns, two bay leaves, one teaspoon each of dried oregano, rosemary, basil, parsley) and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Step 6: Remove Bouquet Garni
Remove the bouquet garni from the pan using a slotted spoon.
Step 7: Fold in Cream and Butter
Reduce the heat to low and stir in half a cup of heavy cream and two tablespoons of sweet butter until combined.
Step 8: Add Scallops to Pan
Add the seasoned scallops to the pan with sauce, mixing well.
Step 9: Pour Mixture into Shells.
Fill individual coquilles st Jacques or scallop shells with scallop mixture making sure you distribute it evenly among the shells.
Step 10: Bake Coquilles St Jacques
Arrange filled shells in baking dish(es) or a shallow baking pan, using sea salt to stabilize the shells on the tray. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and bake until golden and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes. Serve hot with a slice of lemon and parsley garnish.
Enjoy your homemade Coquilles Saint Jacques!
Substitutions and Variations
There are many variations and substitutions you can make to the classic Coquilles Saint Jacques recipe to customize it to your liking.
If you’re looking for a lighter version of the recipe, replace the heavy cream with milk and use olive oil instead of butter. You could also use breadcrumbs instead of flour for a gluten-free option.
For a twist on the classic flavors, try adding in some fresh herbs like thyme, tarragon, or chives. You can also experiment with different types of cheese to add flavor to the dish. Parmesan is a popular choice but don’t be afraid to try something new like goat cheese or blue cheese.
To make this dish vegetarian-friendly, simply omit the scallops and replace them with mushrooms. This substitution will add some earthy flavors into the mix and remove any fishy taste.
For those who are allergic to shellfish, substitute scallops with shrimp, crab meat or lobster for an equally decadent dish. Additionally, Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc grapes could replace dry white wine in making coquilles.
With these variations and substitutions, you can create a unique twist on this classic French dish while still enjoying its delicious taste and creamy texture. Feel free to experiment with different ingredient combinations until you find yours personal touch that suits your taste buds.
Serving and Pairing
Coquilles Saint Jacques is one of those classic French dishes that pairs beautifully with a crisp dry white wine. I highly recommend serving this scallop dish with either a Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay. These wines have fresh citrus notes and acidity that complement the richness of the scallops.
For those who enjoy a heartier red wine, you can also opt for a red wine that has good acidity, such as Pinot Noir. This will cut through the creaminess of the sauce and won’t overpower the delicate flavor of the scallops.
As for side dishes, I suggest serving this dish with crusty baguette or mashed potatoes to soak up all the velvety sauce. A light mixed green salad would also be an excellent accompaniment to cut through the richness, and refresh your palate between mouthfuls.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
When it comes to make-ahead, storing and reheating Coquilles Saint Jacques, there are a few tips to keep in mind. This classic French dish can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to two days before reheating.
To make in advance, prepare the scallops as directed and store them in the fridge without baking them. When ready to serve, simply bake the dish as directed, adding an extra 5-10 minutes to the cooking time to ensure the scallops are fully cooked through.
If you need to store leftover scallops, be sure to place them in an airtight container and refrigerate promptly. They can be reheated gently in the oven or on the stovetop with a little bit of butter or cream.
One thing to note when reheating Coquilles Saint Jacques is that the cream sauce can sometimes separate or curdle. To avoid this, reheat the dish slowly over low heat and stir frequently to help emulsify the sauce.
Overall, Coquilles Saint Jacques is a great dish for make-ahead meals or leftover dinners. Just follow these tips for storing and reheating and you’ll have a delicious seafood meal anytime you want!
Tips for Perfect Results
To achieve the perfect coquilles Saint Jacques, here are some helpful tips to follow:
1. Use fresh ingredients: You want the scallops to be fresh and not overcooked as this could toughen them up. Also, use fresh herbs and a high-quality white wine for the sauce.
2. Pick the right wine: Coquilles St Jacques is often made with a dry white wine like Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc. The acid in the wine will help cut through the richness of the dish and create a delicious sauce.
3. Don’t overcook the scallops: Overcooking the scallops is one of the biggest mistakes when making coquilles Saint Jacques. They should only be cooked for 2-3 minutes on each side until they are just turning opaque.
4. Sear scallops to get a crispy crust: To get a beautiful golden-brown crust on your scallops, make sure your pan is hot and dry before adding them to it. Don’t overcrowd the pan and let them sear for 1-2 minutes before flipping.
5. Consider baking option: Another way to make coquilles Saint Jacques is by baking them in individual gratin dishes. This method allows you to make-ahead of time and serve a beautiful dish straight from the oven.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your coquilles Saint Jacques dish comes out perfectly every time!
As with any recipe, there may be inquiries or concerns. Here are some frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers to help you out with this coquilles Saint Jacques recipe.
What wine is best for coquilles St. Jacques?
When it comes to pairing wine with coquille Saint Jacques, chardonnay is often considered a popular choice. This preference can be attributed to the buttery and creamy texture of the dish which blends seamlessly with the texture of chardonnay, especially a Chablis.
What white wine goes best with coquilles St. Jacques?
For a delicious pairing with coquilles St. Jacques, I suggest opting for a refreshing wine like Pouilly-Fume or Vouvray. The former is crafted from sauvignon blanc grapes while the latter’s base is chenin blanc. These wines are often used in the preparation of the dish and complement its flavors brilliantly.
What seafood is typically used for coquilles Saint Jacques?
When preparing Coquille Saint Jacques in the traditional style, only scallops are utilized and mashed potatoes are placed into the coquille using a pastry bag.
What is Coquilles Saint Jacques made of?
For an exquisite dining experience, try this recipe for coquilles Saint-Jacques. It incorporates delectable scallops and mushrooms sautéed in butter, spiced to perfection, and topped with a blend of Gruyère and breadcrumbs for an extra kick of flavor. While the dish is traditionally served on small scallop shells, it can also be served in ovenproof ramekins if preferred.
In conclusion, the coquilles Saint Jacques recipe is a classic French dish that is sure to impress any seafood lover. Its delicate combination of bay scallops, white wine, and herbs creates a mouth-watering experience that is hard to forget.
As a sommelier, I highly recommend pairing this dish with a chenin blanc or sauvignon blanc to enhance its flavors. You can experiment with different variations and substitutions to find the perfect taste for you.
Whether you are looking for a comfort food or just trying to impress your guests, the coquilles Saint Jacques will never disappoint you. Don’t forget to try other French seafood dishes such as au gratin and scallop gratin recipe for a unique culinary experience.
So what are you waiting for? Get ready to make some delicious coquilles St Jacques by following our easy-to-follow recipe guide. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you later!
Scallops in White Wine [coquilles Saint Jacques] Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 1 bouquet garni (recipe below)
- 2 lbs bay scallops, washed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms
- 6 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup kerry irish gold sweet butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons kerry irish gold sweet butter
- for bouquet garni
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 peppercorns
- 1 garlic clove
- Bring to a boil 1-1/2 cups dry white wine [pinot grigio is good] with a bouquet garni. Add 2 lbs. scallops and 1/2 tsp salt [or to taste] and simmer the scallops for 3 minutes, or until they are tender. Drain the scallops, reserving the broth and discarding the bouquet garni. And cut the scallops into fine pieces.
- Clean and chop 1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms. Put them i n a saucepan with the chopped shallots [or small onion] and 2 T. each of butter and water, 1 T. of the finely chopped parsley and 1 t. lemon juice. Cover the pan and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes. Strain it and add to the wine broth.
- Melt 1/4 cup butter in the saucepan and add 1/4 cup flour and stir the roux until it is well-blended. Add gradually the combined hot broths.
- Correct the seasonings adn stir in the finely chopped scallops, shallots and mushrooms.
- Fill scallop shells or ramekins [or au gratin dish] with the mixture, piling high in the center. Sprinkle with bread crumbs [or Panko] and dot with butter. Brown in ia hot oven of 400 degrees or under the broiler.
- Can be served with french bread, rice or TINKYADA organic brown rice pasta noodles.