This entry is part of 14 in the series Gourmet Garden
This New Year’s Eve, the Artist and I celebrated with a French-themed dinner. Ever since we got back from our trip to France, we’ve been missing the lovely accents, beautiful scenery, wine and food. While we dream of returning, why not see if I can recreate some of our favorite dishes?
When we moved to our neighborhood, there was a tiny French restaurant run by a Parisian family. The husband and son were the chefs and the wife ran the front of the house. Dominique always made everyone feel special and it quickly became our favorite special occasion destination. We happily celebrated many birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays there.
Sauteed scallops ready to be gratineed
Claude and his son made stunning food, filled with love and a passion for ingredients – the same passion we saw all over Paris, in every vendor, chef, and server we met. In hindsight it was remarkable to have the quality of meals in our neighborhood. We knew it was special and were crushed when they decided to retire.
We had many favorites on their menu … Steak Marchand de Vin, Coq au Vin, pate, and their wonderful chocolate mousse. But my personal favorite was their Coquilles St. Jacques. It is a luscious dish of sauteed scallops with a creamy sauce.
Scallops are ready for the broiler!
Because the sauce is so rich you only need a few scallops to completely satisfy your guests, helping keep the cost down. This is worth the splurge every once in a while. Take one bite and you will never be the same again – it is that memorable!
Scallops are sweet and delicate, often prepared simply with a butter sauce or a touch of cheese, just enough to enhance their flavor without overpowering them. You can use them in any recipe that calls for shrimp or clams. For this recipe I chose to top them with gluten-free breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan and parsley for an exquisite crunchy texture that complemented their seductive tenderness.
Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Herbs make all our recipes easier and more delicious!
I had planned a sumptuous New Year’s Eve dinner for us, starting with the scallops and ending with Chocolate Pot de Crème, with a lovely roasted chicken in the middle. I had planned on making the scallops early and finishing them at the last minute. But as they were cooking and filling the house with incredible aromas, the Artist “needed” to eat them right away.
Fresh lemon juice adds the perfect brightness to rich dishes like these Coquille St. Jacques
We wound up taking several hours to eat our dinner, taking long breaks between each course. It was the perfect pace and helped us stay awake and entertained until midnight. And with each bite, we were reminded of the many meals we enjoyed at our local French bistro and those remarkable dining adventures in Paris.
I hope you give these a try soon. They make any day special!
Sauteed scallops & freshly topped with cheesy breadcrumbs, ready for the broiler!
Breadcrumbs are easy to make from GF bread; toast slices and grind them in a food processor. It is much less expensive than buying packaged crumbs.
Gratinéed Coquilles St. Jacques (Gluten-Free)
© 2015 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook. All rights reserved.
Yield: 6 servings
- 1 cup sifted all-purpose or rice flour, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a touch of paprika
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup very finely minced onions
- 2 tbsp finely minced shallots
- 1 tsp Gourmet Garden Garlic Paste
- 3/4 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
- 1 small bay leaf
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Parsley
- 2 tbsp heavy cream or crème fraîche
- Freshly squeezed juice from about 1/2 lemon
- 1-1/2 lb sea or bay scallops, well rinsed and patted dry
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Parsley
- 6 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs (use gluten-free bread if needed)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- Fresh lemon wedges, for garnish