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COQUILLES SAINT JACQUES

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Coquilles Saint Jacques For the holidays, here is a very elegant French recipe of scallops and mushrooms in a creamy cheesy thick sauce.

Ingredients:

500 g. cleaned scallops (or a mixture of seafood available frozen from supermarkets)

150 g. small size button mushrooms thinly sliced

4 spring onions, white and light green part, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves (8 g), finely chopped

1 cup white wine or water

1½ cups fish stock

⅓ cup butter

5 tablespoons flour

1½ cups whipping cream

1 egg yolk

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Dash of grated nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

¼ cup dry breadcrumbs

1. Butter 8 scallop dishes, or 8 small ½ cup capacity ovenproof dishes.

2. Remove coral, vein, and small tough muscle attached to the side of the scallops.  Discard vein and muscle. Cut each crosswise in half.

3. Heat the vegetable oil and fry mushrooms in batches over high heat till cooked.  Season.

4. Place onions, garlic, and white wine or water in a pot over heat and bring to a boil.  Simmer till only about 1 tablespoon of the liquid is left. 

5. Add the fish stock to the pot and bring to a boil.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

6. Lower heat to low and add the scallops and their coral in 3 additions.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or till just opaque.  Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. 

7. Simmer the liquid or add little stock to the correct measure of 1½ cups.

8. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat and stir fry the flour without allowing it to brown.

9. Add the cream gradually while stirring.  Add the 1½ cups of the stock and simmer till thickened, add egg yolk the last second of simmering.  Set aside and keep warm. 

10. Divide scallops and mushrooms between the 8 dishes and spoon sauce on top.

11. Mix breadcrumbs with the Parmesan.  Draw a star shape on a piece of cardboard and empty the inside.  Place it over one dish and sprinkle with the dry breadcrumb mixture.

12. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in a 180 Cº (350 Fº) oven.  Serve hot.

To prepare ahead:

Recipe may be prepared to step 9 a day before serving.  Refrigerate and bring to room temperature before baking.  Bake 10 minutes instead of 8.

© 2005 Cooking Courses Marlene Matar