Christmas is already over. Again, it went by so fast it was like the strike of a lightning; you don’t really know what hit you. But a few things remain to remind you of what happened in the last few days: good memories with family and friends, some good (or not so good!) presents piled up in your living room, and the vague impression of decadent food decay… which, against your will, have brought some extra pounds to the scale. Yet you have absolutely no regret. It was all worth it you tell yourself, and for sure, when the New Year comes, you’ll put this resolution on your list: I’ll make sure never to eat so much ever again!
This year I’ve been spoiled, maybe a little too much for my own good. But I liked it and I don’t want it to end. Why should it? After all, what’s an extra day of spoiling if it’s going to be about good culinary pleasure? The New Year isn’t here for another few days so lets make the best of it, and lets forget about those few extra pounds.
Which is why after Christmas, I like to treat myself to some really good food. Good ingredients have never killed anybody. And today I feel like something nice and smooth, that tastes like the sea. I’ve decided on a silky Coquille St-Jacques.
Makes 6 servings or 10 appetizers
Mashed potatoes (optional)
5 medium size potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon 15% cream
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons shallots, minced
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups warm milk
½ teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons Vermouth
Salt and pepper
6 shells (or oven proof serving plates)
24 larges scallops cut in 4
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
¼ cup aged Gruyere cheese, grated
Pinch sweet paprika or piment d’Espelette
In a saucepan, cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain, and finely mash with the butter and cream. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven’s boiler.
In saucepan, melt the butter. Add the shallots and sear until tender. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring over medium heat. Whisk in the milk. Add the fennel seeds, white wine, and Vermouth. Stir until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
With a pastry bag with a fluted tip, pipe the puree around the shells. Separate the scallops between each shell.
Drizzle the sauce over the scallops. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese. Add a sprinkle of paprika. Bake in the middle of the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, until the cheese is slightly brown.
Note: I’m making my Coquille St-Jacques as an appetizer so I’ve decided not to put I in the mashed potatoes. It’s as delicious that way only a little lighter.
You can make your Coquilles in advance, covered in the fridge. Just cook them before serving.