How to Make Coquilles Saint-Jacques

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup diced shallots
  • ½ pound white button mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1egg yolk
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 large oven-safe scallop shells
  • ¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • 8fresh tarragon leaves
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; saute shallots in the hot butter until translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir mushrooms, salt, and black pepper into shallots. Turn heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are golden brown, about 10 minutes.

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  • Step 2

    Pour white wine over mushroom mixture, dissolving any browned bits of food on bottom of skillet into wine; bring to a simmer. Gently place scallops into wine and poach in the mushroom mixture until barely firm, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer scallops to a bowl. Strain mushroom mixture into another bowl, reserving mushrooms and cooking liquid separately. Return strained liquid to skillet, pour in any accumulated juices from scallops, and stir in cream. Bring to a boil and cook until cream sauce is reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Stir often. Turn off heat and let mixture cool for 1 minute.

  • Step 3

    Quickly whisk egg yolk into cream sauce until combined. Transfer skillet to a work surface (such as a heatproof countertop or cutting board) and stir cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons tarragon, and lemon zest into sauce.

  • Step 4

    Divide mushroom mixture into scallop shells, spreading mushrooms out to cover bottoms of shells; place about 3 scallops onto each portion. Spoon cream sauce over scallops to coat; let sauce drizzle down into mushrooms. Sprinkle lightly with Gruyere cheese and paprika or cayenne.

  • Step 5

    Turn oven’s broiler to high. Slightly crinkle a large sheet of aluminum foil and place onto a baking sheet. Place filled shells onto foil and press lightly to help them stay level.

  • Step 6

    Broil about 10 inches from the heat source until sauce is bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to serving plates lined with napkins to prevent shells from tipping; garnish each portion with 2 crossed tarragon leaves.

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