COQUILLES SAINT JACQUES
by Elaine Tammi & Karin A. Tammi
"Coquille St. Jacques" is named for St. James, the patron saint of shellfish gatherers whose symbol is the scallop shell. Pilgrims in the Middle Ages wore scallop shells around their necks while traveling to holy places during the Crusades.
One of our Coquille recipes, served as a main entree in sea scallop shells or puff pastry shells, makes a tasty presentation. Serve with a tossed salad, angel hair pasta with zucchini, red bell pepper, and lemon wedges.
• 1 lb. bay scallops, chopped, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry
• 1 cup dry, white wine
• 2 tbsp. butter
• 2 tbsp. minced shallots
• 2 tbsp. flour
• 1/2 cup cream or 1/2 cup skim milk
• 1/4 cup milk (optional)
• Salt and pepper
• 1 cup buttered bread crumbs
• Lemon wedges
• 4 large scallop shells or au gratin dishes or 9 to 12 frozen puff pastry shells
• 2 stainless steel sauce pans
In a stainless steel or enameled saucepan, combine scallops with wine, cover, and bring to a simmer. Poach for 2 to 3 minutes. Lift the scallops out with a slotted spoon and set aside, but save the poaching liquid.
In a second saucepan, heat butter over medium heat, add shallots, and cook until shallots are wilted. Stir in flour and cook the mixture for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the poaching liquid.
Return the pan to the heat and whisk while cooking until the mixture is smooth and has thickened slightly. Add the cream (or milk) and cook, stirring until the mixture thickens some more. Thin the sauce with milk if desired and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the reserved scallops. Stir gently, but well, and spoon the mixture into 4 scallop shells or au gratin dishes.
Heat the shells or dishes under a broiler just long enough to brown the tops lightly, if desired.
If using frozen puff pastry shells, bake unthawed for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
Cut out the center and fill with mixture. Top dish with buttered bread crumbs. Bake until bubbly in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.