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Sea Scallops Coquille St. Jacques

Yield Makes 12 appetizer servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 20 sea scallops, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
  • Dash of ground red pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 12 scallop shells
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup Japanese breadcrumbs (Panko)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • Paprika

How to Make It

  1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in half-and-half; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat, and set aside.

  2. Sauté onion and celery in 1/2 cup melted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add scallops; sauté 1 minute. Stir in wine and white sauce; cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in salt and next 3 ingredients. Stir in cheese and parsley.

  3. Coat 12 scallop shells with cooking spray, and place on a large baking sheet. Combine breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter; toss well. Spoon scallop mixture into prepared shells; sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture and paprika.

  4. Bake at 375º for 15 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Let stand 5 minutes.

  5. Tip: To keep scallop shells from tipping over on baking sheet, sprinkle sheet generously with rock salt, and nestle shells in salt.

  6. Wine note: "Let your imagination run. Try a big Chardonnay from a New World country. I suggest Leeuwin Estate ($65) from Margaret River, Western Australia, or Lanzerac ($22) from Stellenbosch, South Africa."--Franklin Ferguson, wine director and bar manager, Citrine restaurant, Los Angeles, CA.