The first time I had Coquilles Saint-Jacques was at a cool (supposedly mob-owned) French restaurant, with my friend Debbi.
The last time I had Coquilles Saint-Jacques, my friend Diane made it, and served it in scallop shells (the ‘coquille’) with piped mashed potatoes.
Both times, I loved it; so I cannot figure out why I haven’t made it myself?
without the piped mashed potatoes, Diane is far more skilled at that stuff than I.
And so, when scallops went on sale, I decided to treat us to a bit of decadence.
Truth be told, this is dead simple to make, but there are a lot of steps – such as remembering to buy the mushrooms (though, as you will see, Crispity Pork Belly works a treat as a substitute).
•1 lb sea scallops, soaked in milk for one hour (I think it brings out the sweetness)
•1 cup dry white wine
•1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
•1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•2 tbsp unsalted butter
•3 tbsp diced sweet onion
•1 cup diced cooked pork belly
•Sliced pork belly
•3 tbsp unsalted butter
•3 tbsp flour
•1/2 cup half and half
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
•1 cup soft bread crumbs
•2 tbsp melted butter
•1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.
Brush the pork belly slices with Arby’s Sauce or your fave steak sauce, and air fry at 400º for ten minutes, turning over after five minutes. Set aside to cool, then dice.
Brush three or four ramekins with olive oil or melted butter and set aside on a large baking tray.
Remove the scallops from the milk (discard the milk) and add to a large pan with the white wine, parsley, and Seasoned Salt.
Add just enough water to cover the scallops, then bring to a boil over high heat.
Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for six minutes or so, until the scallops are white.
Remove the scallops from the cooking liquid, then strain the cooking liquid into a container and set aside.
Melt the butter in the pan, then add the onion and sauté for five minutes before adding the diced pork belly.
Note: if you’ve gone the traditional route and bought ‘shrooms instead of the pork belly, add them to the pan with the onion.
Cook until the onion is tender and the pork belly (or ‘shrooms) nicely browned.
Transfer to a bowl with the scallops.
Now, we can make the roux!
Melt three tablespoons of butter in the pan over medium heat and stir in the flour.
Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and lightly browned.
Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the reserved scallop poaching liquid until smooth, then bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute more.
Reduce the heat and stir in the half and half, scallop, onion, and pork belly (or ‘shroom) mixture, the Sherry Peppers Sauce, and the 1/4 cup of Swiss cheese.
Cook, stirring, until heated through and the cheese is melted.
Toss the breadcrumbs with the melted butter until evenly coated, then stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of Swiss cheese.
Arrange the scallops in the prepared ramekins, then top with the sauce and the breadcrumb mixture.
Pop under the broiler and cook for about five minutes, until the breadcrumbs are nicely toasted.