Coquilles St. Jacques

servings: 6

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Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bouquet of garni (see notes)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 lb scallops
  • 8 oz mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bread crumbs
  • Swiss or Gruyere cheese, grated

Preparation

Heat the water, wine, onion, bouquet garni, and lemon juice to a boil in a saucepan. Add the scallops, cover, and simmer on very low heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the scallops with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the mushrooms to the scallop poaching liquid and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Strain, discarding the bouquet garni and reserving the liquid and mushrooms separately. Cut the scallops into 1/2-inch-thick slices. If too long, cut in half horizontally.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and whisk in the flour. Do not let it get dark. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the scallop liquid and mix until blended. Over very low heat, blend the flour mixture into the scallop liquid. Add the cream and simmer and stir until blended and thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the scallops and mushrooms and stir.

Fill 6 scallop shells or shallow 6-inch ramekins almost to the top with the scallop mixture. Dust the top lightly with bread crumbs and sprinkle with the grated cheese. (If you're not ready to serve the scallops, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)

Preheat the broiler. Broil the scallops until the mixture bubbles and the cheese melts and turns golden brown.

Additional Tips

To make a bouquet garni, wrap a sprig or two of parsley, two bay leaves, and a sprig of fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves) in some cheesecloth. Tie into a neat bundle with thread or clean string.

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