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Christmas is a good time to try out some good recipes and Coquilles Saint-Jacques from France that is traditionally served on small, cleaned scallop shells will complete your Christmas potluck.

Coquilles Saint-Jacques

Coquilles Saint-Jacques (France).
Coquilles Saint-Jacques (Image, Pinterest).

Scallops with herbs and cheese, served in little shells makes a good appetizer, although it can be used as a delicious seafood entrée as well. Coquilles Saint-Jacques is one of the classics of the French kitchen and it’s very easy to prepare. Not only that, but you can easily change the recipe to your liking, from vegan, to meaty to sweeter scallops.

Recipe

Preparation: 25 Min
Cooking: 30 Min
Servings: 4

Ingredients
Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 cups (340 g) russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) 35% cream

Scallop Filling

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) white wine
  • 11 oz (300 g) medium scallops, size 15-25, drained and patted dry
  • 1 cup (100 g) Gruyère cheese, grated

Preparation

Mashed Potatoes

  1. In a pot of lightly salted water, cook the potatoes until tender. Drain. With a masher, coarsely crush the potatoes with the butter.
  2. With an electric mixer, purée the potato mixture with the cream until smooth. Add more cream, if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
  3. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Scallop Filling

  1. In a pot, soften the shallots in the butter. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the milk and wine and bring to a boil while whisking. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the scallops and ½ cup (125 ml) of the cheese. Stir to combine.
  2. Spoon the filling into four scallop shells or four small gratin dishes. Garnish the rim with rosettes of mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes. Finish under the broiler until the cheese and potatoes are golden brown.

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