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Catholic Recipe: Coquilles Saint-Jacques I


  • 12 scallops
  • 4 ounces butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms
  • 4 Tablespoons sherry 
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 cups cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 sprigs chopped parsley
  • lemon juice
  • bread crumbs


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Difficulty: • • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:15+

Origin: France


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Also Called: Scallops or Cockles in the Shell; Coquilles Sainte-Jacques; Coquilles St. Jacques

In earlier days the street boys of London built grottoes of oyster and cockleshells on this day, and held out the largest one they could find to beg pence from passers-by. Since cockleshells are so particularly associated with this Apostle, we suggest as a most appropriate delicacy for St. James feast day, Coquilles Saint-Jacques.


Cut each scallop in two. Put them in a pan with the butter, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for about ten minutes. In another pan Sauté the mushrooms in a little butter. When the mushrooms have cooked for about five minutes, add them with the sherry and the tomato puree to the scallops. Stir in the cream and the egg yolks but do not let the mixture boil. Add the chopped parsley and a little lemon juice. (If desired, add also a little finely chopped garlic.)

Fill the mixture into scallop shells, cover with buttered bread crumbs, and run under the broiler for a very few minutes. (Note: Cockles and scallops are not of the same family. However, we suggest scallops here since they are much more easily procured. Incidentally, one of the French names for scallops is pelerine, meaning pilgrim.)

Recipe Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951