Our daughter and oldest child will graduate from high school in seven days. We have been scurrying around trying to put together outfits, menu plans for the party, and deep cleaning the house for company. It’s a strange feeling to have a child that is now a grownup. I remember all too well her days as a toddler, her first words, her sweet innocence. But now I get to look forward to her being my friend instead of my “responsibility.”
We made a fancy dinner for her called Coquilles St. Jacques. In French, the words just mean “scallops.” But in the cooking world, it’s a dish where the scallops are cooked in a creamy sauce with a covering of bread crumbs and cheese. It’s very easy to make and very tasty. It’s also pretty fancy, so it would be great to impress your friends. One of my husband’s favorite foods is scallops, so it was definitely a hit for him. Maybe it will be a hit for you too!
COQUILLES ST. JACQUES
1 lb sea scallops (the big ones), rinsed and patted dry
4 T butter
1/4 C flour
8 ounces clam juice (or chicken stock)
1 C heavy cream
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 8-ounce package brown mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C red wine
1 1/2 C panko breadcrumbs
1/4 C chopped fresh Italian parsley
5 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (Swiss works too)
1/4 C olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a skillet and cook the shallots, mushrooms, and garlic until the mushrooms are tender. Add in the wine and deglaze the pan. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir it. Add in the clam juice (or chicken stock), cream, and salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat until it’s thickened and bubbly.
Stir together the panko breadcrumbs, parsley, Gruyere cheese and the olive oil. Grease a baking dish and put the scallops in the dish. Pour the mushroom mixture all over the scallops. Spread the panko mixture over the top of the scallops. Bake it for about 20-25 minutes or until the scallops are cooked through.