Coquilles St. Jacques au Safran
(from koshka’s recipe box)
- For the scallops:
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 6 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 lbs. scallops
- salt and pepper
- pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 3 Tablespoons boiling water
- For the sauce:
- 1 shallot, very finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons dry vermouth
- 2 Tablespoons dry white wine
- 1-1/4 cups creme fraiche (or substitute heavy cream)
- small pinch of saffron threads
- 6 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into tablespoons size pieces
For the mushrooms:
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium pan and add the mushrooms, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
Cut a piece of aluminum foil to cover the pan. Butter one side and place the buttered side down on the mushrooms, pressing down slightly.
Put a lid on the pan and cook the mushroom over low heat, until tender, about 5 minutes.
For the scallops:
In another frying pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add the scallops and cook until they begin to whiten. Do not overcook or they will become tough. It should take no longer than 3-5 minutes.
Transer the mushrooms and the scallops with a slotted spoon to a plate.
For the sauce:
Pour the cooking liquid from the mushrooms into the pan that you used to cook the scallops.
Add the shallot, vermouth and wine and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the liquid is reduced to a glaze.
Whisk in the cream and cook an additional 5-7 minutes or until the mixture has reduced by one-third.
Taste, adjust seasoning, adding a bit more saffron if desired.
<i>Can be made ahead up about 2 hours to this point.</i>
(If made ahead, reheat the sauce at this point before continuing with the recipe.) Take the pan from the heat and whisk in the cold butter pieces one by one, taking the pan on and off the heat so that the butter softens but does not become oily.
Add the scallops and mushrooms to the sauce and heat gently for about 1-1/2 minutes. Spoon the mixture onto warmed plates. Rice or rice pilaf makes a good accompaniment to this dish.