Jessica Kuerten prepares Coquilles St. Jacques for starters.
- 18 scallops (cleaned, with coral and membrane removed)
- 350 g mashed potatoes
- 300 ml dry white wine
- 2 shallots (peeled and diced)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig of parsley
- 150 ml water
- 100 g mushrooms (cleaned and diced)
- 75 g grated parmesan cheese
- for the béchamel sauce:
- 225 ml milk
- 50 g butter
- 1 small carrot (peeled and finely diced)
- 1 rib of celery (finely diced)
- 1 small shallot (peeled and diced)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tblsp plain flour
- pinch cayenne pepper
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 190ºC/Gas 5.
- In a saucepan place the wine, shallots, bay leaf, parsley, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add the water and bring back to a simmer. Place the scallops in the liquid and poach for 3-4 minutes until scallops turn milky white. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Next make the béchamel sauce. Place the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, shallot and bay leaf and sweat for 3-4 minutes. Sieve in the flour and stir until it mixes thoroughly with the butter. Pour in the milk gradually, whisking all the time and then add about 75 mls of the leftover poaching liquid from scallops. Keep stirring while you bring the sauce back to just under a boil and it is thick. Pass the sauce through a sieve to remove the vegetables and season with salt, black pepper and a pinch of Cayenne.
- Sauté the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan, then fold into béchamel sauce. Line six shallow dishes with butter and pipe some mashed potatoes around the edges.
- Cut the scallops into quarters and place 3 into the centre of each dish. Cover with some mushroom and Béchamel sauce.
- Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and bake for in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes until lightly golden brown.