France—Scallops in White Wine

 

French Entreescallops in white wine sauce

Scallops in White Wine
Coquilles St. Jacques
(Serves 6-8)

Coquille St. Jacque is one of the glories of French cuisine. Tender scallops bathed in a creamy white wine sauce. Serve in large scallop shells or individual ramekins.


2 lb. scallops
2 C water
1/2 C butter
2 shallots or small onion (chopped fine)
8 oz. mushrooms (sliced)
2 T fresh parsley (chopped)
1/4 C flour
3/4 C white wine
3/4 C scallop cooking liquor
2 egg yolks (well beaten)
1/2 C dry fresh breadcrumbs
2-4 T butter

Scallops: preheat oven to 400. Blanch scallops for 3 minutes in 2 C boiling water. Remove scallops and reserve 3/4 C cooking liquid. Cut drained scallops in small pieces.

Sauce: in a large skillet, melt 1/2 C butter, add shallots or onion and sauté till soft. Add mushrooms and parsley, sautéing 4-5 minutes, till mushrooms give off their liquid. Sprinkle with flour, and stir. Gradually pour in white wine and cooking liquid, stirring constantly till it comes to a boil. Boil sauce 2 minutes and remove from heat.

Assembly: let the sauce cool for 2 minutes, then add yolks and scallops. Spoon evenly into a shallow casserole or small individual ramekins—or, if you have them, 8 large shells. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and dot with butter. Bake 10 minutes.

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Tips & Glossary

Bouquet Garni: (boo-kay gar-nee) bundle of herbs tied together with string or wrapped in cheese cloth square; usually parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Flavor is released during long cooking.Remove before serving.

Chervil: (sher-vil) related to parsley but has a delicate anise flavor. Long cooking kills flavor, so add at the last minute.

Cornichon (kor-nee-shon) teeny-tiny pickle, served with pates & smoked meats; found in specialty food stores.

Fines Herbes: (feen-airb) mix of finely chopped herbs: parsley, chives, tarragon, & chervil. Not as strong as a bouqet garni. Buy it at most grocery stores.

Fromage: (fra-mahj) Cheese! The French eat more than any nationality, 45 pounds per capita per year; and the country makes more cheeses than any other country, about 400.

The three great pedigreed French cheeses are:
• Brie (East of Paris)
• Camembert (Normandy)
• Roquefort (Southwest France, from sheep’s milk)

There are also wonderful lesser-known cheeses:
• Beaufort (Rhone Alps, hard, yellow Gruyere-type)
• Chevre (Loire Valley, soft, goat’s milk)
• Comte (Alps region, hard, yellow Gruyere-type)
• Emmental (Alps region, “Swiss” cheese with holes)
• Gruyere (hard, yellow cheese—originally French, now most is Swiss)
• Tomme (means “cheese”; soft, many varieties, all from skim milk)

Herbes de Provence (airb-duh-pro-vonce): mix of dried herbs, usually thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, & bay leaf Can be found at most grocery stores.

Mutarde: (moo-tard), mustard. Most famous:
• Dijon ( from the town in Burgundy)
• Meaux (from Meaux, east of Paris; whole-grained; made by Pommery).

Nicoise Olive: (nee-swaz- oh-leev) small, purplish-black olive with a mellow, nutty flavor; used primarily in Salade Nicoise. The Picholine variety is a green, medium-sized olive with a light, nutty flavor.

Roux: (roo) paste-like mix of melted butter and flour, into which liquid is gradually added. The basis of every classic French sauce.
Basic Roux: 1 part butter to 1 part flour. Melt butter and add flour, stirring vigorously, till it becomes a paste-like consistency. At this point, add slowly whatever liquid your recipe calls for

 

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