Coquille St. Jacques

Appetizers are generally a teaser prior to the main meal. Whatever you do, make the portions small or no one will be able to finish the meal. Use your imagination when serving this course.  Use plates, bowls, shells or glasses; whatever you have to make it impressive. We eat with our eyes first, then with our taste buds. You can just have the appetizer and salad or appetizer and soup, if you really don’t want all three courses.

This only looks intimidating- Serves 6


  • 1 lb. scallops
  • 1/2 lb. button mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup Chardonnay wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 small onion
  • White pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Lemon juice
  • Panko crumbs
  • Parmesan cheese

Rinse scallops, removing tough membrane. Slice mushrooms and combine with the next seven ingredients and simmer in a saucepan for four-five minutes.

Strain off stock and keep it warm. Set aside scallops and mushrooms. In the top of a heavy double broiler, melt butter, blend in flour and heat gently until mixture bubbles.  Remove from heat and blend in heated stock from scallops.  Add the milk and heat one minute longer.

Combine beaten egg yolks and cream.  Add a bit of the hot sauce to the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Stir egg mixture back into the hot sauce cooking for one minute more.  Do not burn.

Taste by adding a few drops of lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Cut scallops into quarters and combine with two-thirds of the sauce. Spoon onto shells and cover with remaining sauce.  Top with crumbs and serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Put under broiler until golden brown.

To make this even more elegant, you can cook three-four potatoes until tender, mash until smooth and pipe around the edge of the shell, giving it a raised edge.  So, so, so good!



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