Coquille St Jacques with a Truffle and Sauterne Sauce
I love scallops and will always take the opportunity to eat them whenever possible – especially with the roes, which for some reason, many people discard: what an absolute travesty! Coquille St Jacques is traditionally a dish of scallops in their shells, topped with cheese and grilled until brown. This is a fantastic twist on that dish with the addition of wine and truffles – although I do cheat and use my ever-faithful Cotswold Gold truffle rapeseed oil (which I’ve blogged about before) instead of actual truffles. You can also use any white wine – as long as it’s sweet!
The recipe is taken from a magazine I love, The Good Life France, which is available as a paper copy as well as online. It was devised by a Countess, no less: Countess Simonof-Arpels who has a saffron farm in the Dordogne. I wrote about saffron and her farm in a recent blog post you can find here.
It’s a stunning looking dish that is deceptively simple. You could cook it as a starter when you have friends round or as a special meal for your loved one.
3-4 large prepared scallops per person
l large wine glass of Sauterne (or any dessert wine )
6-7 dessertspoons double cream
60 g chopped truffle or a good slug of truffle oil (eg Cotswold Gold)
2 tablespoons butter (not needed if using truffle oil – see above)
Salt and black pepper (or pink peppercorns if you have them)
Wash the scallops well in cold water. Dry with a kitchen towel. Remove the roe and put to one side.
Peel and finely chop shallots. Fry with a little butter (or truffle oil – see above) until golden brown.
Add the wine and let it simmer for 1 minute then add the cream. Reduce by a third over a low heat and leave
Take a heavy bottomed frying pan, slice scallops horizontally into 2 thinner discs. Melt the butter or heat the truffle oil and sear the scallops on each side until golden brown. Add the chopped roe then take off the heat.
Add the scallops to the prepared sauce and then add the finely chopped truffle (if using). Reheat gently for 12 minutes.
Season to taste with the salt. Serve sprinkled with a grind or two of the pink peppercorns.
Serve immediately on warm plates.