Monday, October 20, 2008

Coquilles St. Jaques - Scallops in Bechamel sauce

This one was sent to me by my sister Mushy in honor of the up coming opening of bay scallop season. She said, "Living on Eastern Long Island with seafood a plenty, this recipe is great when our local sea scallops are in season. It's a late start this year, but I am looking forward to November 3rd!"

Bechamel Sauce
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1.5 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk or half and half
salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of mace or freshly grated nutmeg.

  1. In a saucepan melt butter over low heat.
  2. Stir in flour and cook roux, stirring for 3 to 5 minutes. Do not let brown.
  3. Slowly stir in milk. Cook, stirring with wire whisk until sauce is thick and smooth.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, and mace/nutmeg.
  5. Remove from heat and keep warm until ready to use. The sauce can be made 1 day ahead and be refrigerated, covered. Reheat over low heat.
2 pounds (or more) bay scallops
2 cups dry white wine
2 shallots, finely minced
1/2 cup (I use more) grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
chopped parsley for garnish

  1. Bring wine and scallops to a boil in a large saucepan.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer until scallops are barely done, about one minute.
  3. Remove poached scallops with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Add shallots to wine and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by about half.
  5. Preheat broiler.
  6. Slowly stir the wine-shallot mixture into the Bechamel sauce.
  7. Stir in Gruyere and Parmesan and cook until the cheese is melted.
  8. Add scallops and remove from heat.
  9. Turn the mixture into buttered scallop shells (literally) or buttered ramekins.
  10. Broil 2 to 3 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.
  11. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve at once.

1 comment:

Anne Gregory, in Austin said...

My new French friend was reminiscing last week about how his mom (deceased) used to make this dish when he was growing up in Provence, and we decided to make it together, ourselves, for New Year's Eve dinner tonight. I didn't find it in any of the standard French cookbooks, so I'm very glad to find that you posted your recipe here. It's just what I was looking for.