Coquilles Saint Jacques

People who finished their pilgrimage, not in Santiago de Compostela, but in Finisterre, Galician coast town about 98 kilometers west of Santiago, as proof of having completed the journey, they hung scallop shells on their hats or clothes, thus becoming the symbol of the “Camino de Santiago”. This was recognized in the French language as Coquilles Saint Jacques.

Serves 4 people

Prepare Scallops
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsps butter
16 Scallops (vieiras)

Prawns, optional (I added a packet of defrosted, peeled prawns:  gambas o camarones descongeladas)

Prepare mushrooms
2 tbsps butter
2 shallots (echalotas) or 1 medium onion, finely diced
200g chopped mushrooms

Prepare bechamel
2 tbsps butter
1 shallot (echalota) or 1 small onion, finely diced
2 tbsps flour
125 ml of dry white wine
125 ml of fish stock (I made mine with a monkfish bone, leeks, shallots, carrots and garlic: hueso de rape, puerro, echalotas, zanahorias y ajo)
3 tbsps Gruyere cheese, grated
3 tbsps Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsps double cream (nata espesa)
1 tbsp  parsley, finely chopped

1 ½ tbsps butter
2 tbps Parmesan cheese, grated

I always like to make my own fish stock, as I think it makes the end result much more tasty. If you can’t be bothered, just use ready made stock.

Wash the scallops, let them drain and pat dry with paper towels and season. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons butter and a tablespoon of olive oil, incorporate the scallops and allow to brown 1 minute on each side. The idea is to seal them to retain their juices and cook not completely.  Set aside.

In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons butter and when hot , add the shallots or onion, finely chopped, cook 1 minute, stirring all the time, add the chopped mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes or until the liquid is consumed.  Reserve.

To prepare the bechamel, continue with the same pan, add 2 tablespoons butter and finely chopped shallot or onion, cook until transparent.  Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring all the time, then add the wine, bring to a boil and reduce by half.  Incorporate the fish stock, the Gruyere cheese, Parmesan and cook until thickened, remove from heat and stir in the cream and parsley.  Stir well and add salt and pepper to taste.

Place a small amount of butter, then mushrooms, followed by the bechamel mixed with the scallops and prawns in each shell.  Sprinkle with finely grated Parmesan cheese and place the shells on a baking tray and place in the oven to gratinate.