Thursday, June 23, 2016

Les Saint-Jacques à la Nantaise

Les Saint-Jacques à la Nantaise
Here is my first attempt at translating and adapting a French recipe. I decided to make coquilles St.-Jacques because I wanted to start with something easy (I don't know what I was thinking because it was not easy to translate). Instead of the creamy white sauce, this recipe is from Nantes which is a northwestern French city on the banks of the Loire River.  It is made with white wine and lots of parsley.  I have translated and adapted the recipe from Le Tour De France Gourmand by Julie Andrieu. The first challenge was ingredients I live in Missouri (far from an ocean) and do not have access to scallops in their shells. My solution was to buy the scallops and shells separately. The recipe called for rose shallots, I used regular shallots.  You should find the freshest scallops available and use large sea scallops. I used a dry french white wine, fresh parsley from my garden, fresh garlic from the local CSA (thank you Fair Share CSA), and freshly made bread crumbs. I filled in some of the details that I thought would be helpful. Spoiler alert-- I thought this was an absolutely incredible dish. My husband thought that this was more appetizer size than entree size.  We ate two each.

Les Saint-Jacques à la Nantaise


3-4 Scallop Shells
6 Large Sea Scallops, Quartered
2 Shallots, Finely Diced
4 Tablespoons (50g) Salted Butter, Divided
2.5 Ounces (7 cl) Dry White Wine
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1/2 Bouquet of Parsley, Chopped
1 Slice of Bread Without Crust
1/4 Cup (10 cl) of Milk
Bread Crumbs
Sea Salt (Preferably Fleur de Sel), To Taste
Pepper (Preferably Freshly Ground), To Taste


Rinse and pat dry the scallops. Place the scallop shells on a cookie sheet. Preheat broiler.

Melt 2 tablespoons (25g) of the butter in a medium skillet over low heat.  Add the shallots and cook over low heat for approximately 5 minutes.  Add the wine and slightly raise the heat. Cook for 5 more minutes.
The shallots cooking in butter-- what a lovely smell!
Meanwhile soak the bread in the milk. Mash with a fork and drain. Add the minced garlic, parsley and the drained bread to the skillet. Cook approximately 2 minutes.
Added the garlic, parsley, and wine.
Add scallops to the skillet and cook 3-4 minutes.
Added the scallops
Remove from heat and divide between the shells. Top with bread crumbs, lightly salt and pepper, and top with the remaining butter.

Ready for the oven
Place under the broiler 3 minutes to brown.  Carefully watch the scallops (you may need to take them out early) so they don't burn.

Will I make this again? Yes, best scallop dish ever. (Really-- I am not kidding).

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