Coquilles St Jacques


This is my children’s favourite dish to cook in the house. We make this dish at least every couple of weeks. I think this is a great recipe to try on the kids, the sweet scallop topped with creamy mash and melted cheese are flavours and textures that kids love. Give them the piping bag and let them loose on the potato topping. As I always say if your kids help prepare the food they will be more likely to try anything. It’s good to get them interested in shellfish at an early age. This really is a very simple dish to prepare and home with the family. Give it a go!!!!


For the scallop filling;

900g shelled scallops, corals removed
350ml fish stock
350ml white wine
1tblsp butter
350g button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
Juice of ½ a lemon

For the potato topping;

1½kg floury potatoes, King Edwards or Maris piper, peeled
85g butter
6 egg yolks

For the sauce;

2 shallots finely diced
65g butter
35g plain flour
75ml double cream
50ml crème fraiche

To serve;

8 large scallop shells
2tblsp breadcrumbs
2tblsp Gruyere cheese grated
1tblsp melted butter
4 lemons cut in half and wrapped in muslin


Pre heat an oven to 180c.

For the scallop filling;

Discard the white muscle from each scallop and cut any large scallops horizontally in half. Heat the fish stock and wine in a pan, add the scallops, cover and poach 1-2 minutes until the scallops just whiten (remember that they will cook further in the sauce). Transfer them to a bowl, reserving the stock separately.
Place a large frying pan over high heat; add the butter, when the butter starts to foam add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until golden brown and all of their liquid has evaporated, add the lemon juice and season to taste. If any liquid remains, continue to cook uncovered until it has all evaporated. Add the mushrooms to the scallops.

For the potatoes;

Take a pan big enough to hold the potatoes, cut the potatoes into 2-3 pieces depending on their size and place them into the pot. Cover with water, season to taste and bring to the boil. Boil until tender. When the potatoes are tender remove from the heat and drain through a colander, leave them to drain very well, put them back in the pan and dry them for 1-2 minutes over a low heat. Take off the heat and mash the potatoes with the butter, salt and pepper, then beat over a low heat until fluffy. Take the potatoes off the heat and beat in the egg yolks to thicken. Adjust the seasoning. Let the purée cool slightly, then spoon it into a piping bag with a plain nozzle

For the sauce;

Boil the reserved stock for 10 minutes until reduced to 450ml. Fry the shallots in the butter until soft, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until it's foaming. Whisk in the stock and bring to a boil, whisking, and then simmer until the sauce thickens to coat a spoon, 3-5 minutes. Add the crème fraîche and any liquid released by the scallops, and simmer until the sauce reaches coating consistency. Season to taste.

To serve;

Stir the scallops and mushrooms into the sauce and spoon into the shells. (Can be prepared ahead to this stage and kept in the fridge for 6-8 hours.) Pipe a generous border of potato around each scallop shell. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, grated cheese and melted butter. Set the shells on a baking sheet, steadying them on a slice of bread or a bed of foil. Bake until browned and bubbling, 12-15 minutes. Serve very hot with the lemon on the side.

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