COQUILLES SAINT-JACQUES WITH A TWIST
BY KATHERINE AND CATHERINE
This past Sunday, the Throwdowners gathered yet again to try their hand at ‘throwing down’ with seafood. All are well acquainted with seafood ingredients having already prepared delectable dishes in the past, but this Throwdown was different… Down five fellow Throwdowners due to a schedule conflict, much had to be made up for in variety and surprise. Though the five running chefs had better chances of winning, the ante was upped big time with each Throwdowner presenting a bright, flavorful dish that reflected not only the chefs’ unique style, but their true passion and imagination for combining the best of fresh ingredients.
This time around, both Cats – Kat and Cat – prepared a dish that surprised even for a classic: Coquilles Saint-Jacques. This dish is a household staple for Katherine, whose mom has been making it for years every Christmas Eve. The dish is also a well-known classic in the Moreau family household. Needless to say that the pressure was definitely felt when both chefs got together, a little last minute, to cook 12 portions of coquilles saint-jacques. Sometimes dishes taste great when they’re a result of chance as much as preparation…
The recipe may seem complicated, but it isn’t. Easiest is to get the mashed potatoes out of the way and to set up your shells on a tray. Once that’s done, you can tackle the seafood and cream sauce.
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Ingredients (Yields 12 portions)
Seafood Filling Ingredients
12 large shells or shallow dishes
1 1/2 lb of medium-sized scallops
1 lb of crab meat
1/2 lb of spicy pancetta chopped into small bits
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 bottle of cheap dry white wine
Pepper to taste
Roux Based White Wine and Cognac Cream Sauce
1/2 remainder of white wine
2 tbs of Cognac
1/2 cup of cooking cream
5 sprigs of thyme
4 tbs of butter
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Yukon Mashed Potatoes
4 large peeled Yukon potatoes
1/2 of Milk
3 tbs of butter
1/4 cup of grated Gruyère des Grottes cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 heavy duty zip-lock bag
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook the Yukon potatoes until soft.
- Drain water and add milk, butter, and grated cheese to potatoes and mash until very smooth.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. //
- In a large pan, melt some butter and add the minced shallots. Cook until translucent.
- Add the chopped pancetta to the onions, making sure to get the bits lightly roasted.
- Add the white wine, 1/2 bottle, into the mixture and scrape up brown sticky bits with wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the scallops and crab to the pan and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pepper to taste.
- Transfer seafood mixture to a large bowl, draining and discarding all of the juices. Set emptied, unwashed pan aside. //
- In a small pot, make a light roux by melting 4 tbs of butter and adding 1/2 cup of flour, whisking continually.
- Once mixture has formed a thick paste, add 1/2 cup of milk and cook until lightly golden. Set aside. //
- In the pan that held the seafood mixture, pour the remainder 1/2 bottle of white wine and bring to a simmer.
- Add 2 tbs of Cognac and the thyme. Simmer for a few minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup of cooking cream and the roux mixture to the wine and Cognac mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Baking and Plating
- Using a heavy duty zip lock bag, cut one of the corners and stuff with the potato mixture. Squeezing the bag slowly, create snail shaped dollops around each shell.
- Follow by spooning some of the seafood mixture into the middle of the shells.
- Spoon white wine and cognac cream sauce over the seafood in each shell.
- Top each shell with grated Gruyère cheese, fresh pepper and chopped chives.
- Bake shells on a large tray at broil until all the cheese has melted and potatoes have browned.
- Serve each shell on a napkin over a small white plate. Decorate with thyme sprigs.
********************HELP THE FOODIE COLLECTIVE WIN FREE CATERING**********************
The Foodie Collective is turning 1 years old!!
In order to celebrate, we have entered a contest to win free catering.
Go to this link and click on ‘like’ underneath ‘votez pour Katherine Macnaughton’
Thanks for your support!!