French Cooking: Scallops

French Cooking: Scallops

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There are three traditional ports in the côtes d’Armor in North Brittany (Erquy, Saint-Quay-Portrieux, and Loguivy-de-la-Mer) that are known for their wonderful coquilles Saint-Jacques. The fishing of scallops lasts from October until April. This year, La Fête de la Coquille Saint Jacques à Saint-Quay-Portrieux will be held from April 19th to the 20th; attracting more than 60,000 people! The visitors can board boats and discover the fishing areas and techniques of scallop fishermen. There will also be a cooking contest featuring scallop recipes. More than 16,000 scallop brochettes will be served and 30 tons of scallops will be auctioned off.

American scallops are of two kinds — the smaller, bay scallop and the larger, sea scallops. This week’s recipes are “Scallops with Champagne Sauce” and “Scallops Provençale.”

Coquille Saint-Jacques au Champagne
Scallops in Champagne

For 4 persons
Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes

  • 16 sea scallops

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 sprigs of parsley

  • 1 sprig of thyme or l tsp. thyme (dried)

  • 2 shallots, chopped

  • 1 whole onion

  • salt, pepper (to taste)

  • 1⁄2 bottle champagne

For Sauce:

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream

  • 1 tsp. cornstarch

  • 2 cups scallop bouillon

Have ready:
Prepared rice for 4 persons
2 tbsp. chives, chopped

Rinse the scallops in cold water to remove any sand (if necessary). Put them in a large pot with the bay leaf, parsley, thyme, shallots, whole onion, salt and pepper. Cover with the champagne. Bring slowly to a simmer and let cook for two minutes. Remove the scallops with a slotted spoon. (Keep warm)

Strain the broth and boil over high heat (uncovered) until it reduces by half (about two cups).

To make the sauce: In a bowl beat: the egg yolks, heavy cream and cornstarch. Pour this mixture into the pan with the reduced scallop/champagne broth and whisk constantly over low heat. Remove from the heat when the sauce thickens. Serve the scallops over cooked rice. Cover with sauce and sprinkle with the chopped chives.

Coquille Saint -Jacques provençale
Scallops with Garlic and Parsley

For 4 persons
Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 2 tbsp. parsley, minced

  • 16 sea scallops

  • 2 tbsp. flour

  • 2 tbsp. butter

  • 1 tbsp. oil

  • salt, pepper (to taste)

  • juice of a half of lemon

Mince the garlic and parsley together. Rinse the scallops and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the scallops with the flour. Heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the scallops and let cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the garlic and parsley over the scallops. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 4 minutes. Sprinkle lemon juice over the scallops.

Et voilà!