In our family, we love shellfish. And one of our greatest treats is scallops. In French, scallops translate as coquille St Jacques, which means the “Shell of Saint James.” Back in the Middle Ages a shrine was built to Saint James the Apostle at Santiago de Compostela in Spain. It is said that pilgrims who visited the site would wear a scallop shell in their hats as a symbol of their devotion. And that’s how we get the name.
What’s interesting about scallops is that they make a fine combination with any number of other ingredients. One of the best combinations is with cream. Add mustard to it and you have a match made in heaven. The trick is to use the mustard sparingly or it will overpower the dish. Once you have the right mix, it is a splendid dish fit for a commoner or a king. Want to impress family and friends? This is the go-to recipe. It will cement your reputation as a high class gourmand. Serve over noodles or, as we did it here, rice, it is a winner.
SCALLOPS IN CREAM ANS MUSTARD SAUCE
1 pound scallops, preferably bay scallops
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup heavy cream
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon mustard, preferably Dijon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- If sea scallops are used, cut them in quarters. If bay scallops are used, leave them whole. Set aside.
- Heat butter in a skillet and add the shallots. Cook briefly, stirring. Add vinegar and cook until almost all the vinegar has evaporated.
- Add cream and cook down over high heat until reduced by half. Stir in the scallops and salt. Cook, shaking the skillet so that the scallops cook evenly, about 1 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the mustard. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Yield: 4 servings.