A classic Coquille St Jacque with a parisienne style presentation!
There are many variations of Coquille St Jacque. This Paris style Coquille St Jacques is how I pesented this entree while cooking in a Yacht Club several years ago. The duchesse potatoes add such a nice touch! The only difference in today's presentation and the yacht club presentation was this style of Coquille St Jacque was cooked in a large wide sea scallop shell, rather than a casserole dish. A scallop shell presentation justifies a higher price. An even higher price can be charged if the scallop has a large roe sac attached and it is prepared in its own shell as a Coquille St Jacque a la Parisienne!
While at Le Cordon Bleu, I was asked to cook a Coquille St Jacque in the style of Provence. Sauce Provencal replaces the mushroom vermouth creme sauce and duchesse potatoes are not used for the presentation. Usually a roasted tourne potato, buttered Parisienne potatoes, truffled butter creme potato or no potato at all is used for the Provencal version. I went ahead and lined the plate with duchesse potato and the second chef in charge at the chef school really liked the presentation. None of the teachers at the American Le Cordon Bleu knew that duchesse was the wrong potato to use for a Provencal presentation. I sure did! I called their bluff on their self proclaimed culinary expertise. They tended to fall for presentations that looked nice, whether the presentation was correct or not. Many restaurant managers at the 1 star Michelin rated restaurant level or less do the same thing. Ce est la vie!
Duchesse Potato Recipe:
This recipe makes a little bit extra duchesse potato! Bake piped duchesse potato medallions for an entree with the extra portion if you wish.
There is no milk or cream in duchesse potatoes.
Boil 1 peeled large (6-8 oz) russet potato, till it becomes soft.
Drain off the water.
Thoroughly mash the potato.
Add 4 pats of unsalted butter.
Add sea salt and white pepper.
Mix 1 egg yoke with 1 small pinch of turmeric. (Reduced saffron water can be used in place of turmeric.)
Add the egg yoke mixture to the creme potato.
Thoroughly mix the ingredients together.
Place the dutchess potato mixture into a star tipped pastry bag.
Refrigerate the potato for 10 minutes to stiffen the mixture.
Pipe mini star swirls of dutchess potato around the edge of a shallow casserole dish or a large sea scallop shell.
Bake the dutchess potato ringed casserole dish in a 400 degree oven, till the potatoes become firm and the highlights on the potatoes just barely start to caramelize.
Remove the casserole dish from the oven and set it aside.
Coquille St Jacques a la Parisienne Recipe:
Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
Add 3 pats of unsalted butter.
Add 1 minced small shallot.
Add 2 thin sliced small mushrooms.
When the mushrooms become cooked soft, add 1/2 cup of dry vermouth.
Add sea salt and white pepper.
Add 1 pinch of thyme.
Add 1 small pinch of saffron.
Reduce the sauce, till 1/2 cup of liquid remains.
Add 1/2 cup of cream.
Make a blond roux with 2 ounces unsalted butter pats and an equal amount of flour in a sauce pot over medium heat. Constantly stir the roux as it cooks to a light yellow blonde color.
Add just a small amount of blonde roux as the sauce simmers to thicken the sauce to a thin sauce consistency. Save any extra roux for another recipe!
Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a medium thin sauce consistency.
Add 6 ounces of bay scallops to the sauce.
Simmer the scallops, till they become half way cooked.
Remove the half cooked scallops from the sauce.
Spoon most of the sauce into the middle of the ring of dutchess potatoes on the casserole plate. (The sauce can be strained or it can be served with the mushroom slices. I usually strain the sauce.)
Place the scallops on top of the sauce in the casserole dish.
Drizzle the remaining sauce over the scallops.
Place the casserole dish in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes.
When the scallops and dutchess potatoes gain some light brown highlights, remove the Coquille St Jacque from the oven.
Set the casserole dish on a serving plate.
Garnish with lightly blanched very thin julienne carrot and a parsley sprig.
Deliciously elegant! The flavors of this classic Coquilles St Jacques a la Parisienne is very savory. Dry vermouth is the correct choice of wine for this recipe according to French chefs that I apprenticed with early in my career. Yum! ... Shawna