Monday 9 December 2013

Linguini Coquilles St. Jacques

Coquilles St. Jacques is a classic scallop dish.  There are variations, but usually it involves a scallop placed on a bed of minced shallots and mushrooms served in a scallop shell and finished with some type of gratin top, either cheese or mashed potatoes.

Other than the potatoes, I've used the ingredients for a pasta instead.  And it is delicious!!  I always prefer to use good quality sea scallops (usually from the Pelican Grill in Ottawa).  I use sea scallops here, but bay scallops are perfectly fine.  If using sea scallops, be sure to remove the muscle as it can be tough (most fish mongers will already have done this).

This makes 2 servings.

Long pasta, 2 servings
6 oz scallops
8 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup white wine
Heavy cream

Start the pasta water.  After the scallops are ready, the rest of the recipe can almost be done in the time it takes to cook the pasta once the water is boiling, so long as the ingredients are all prepared. 

Depending on the size of your scallops, cook whole or cut in half for bite-size pieces.  Before cooking, rinse scallops in tap water then pat dry.  Season on top and bottom with salt and pepper.  Sear on high heat in some olive oil - just a minute or so per side is plenty.  Remove to a plate.

In the same pan (add more olive oil if needed) and still on high heat, saute the shallot just a few minutes until they begin to soften.  Add the garlic and mushrooms.  Cook until the moisture from the mushrooms is released and the mushrooms start to brown.  Add the fresh thyme, season with some salt and continue cooking until mushrooms are fully browned.

And still on a high heat, add 1/4 cup white wine and return the scallops to the pan.  Cook about 3 minutes while the wine reduces.

Add your cooked pasta and 1-2 Tbsp of heavy cream.  Toss quickly and serve immediately.

Serve with grated parmesan and additional fresh thyme leaves.

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