January 2020 Cooking Challenge - cheese and veggies

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“when the people are there. Just keep them quiet with a drink”

These words-of-wisdom have become my entertaining mantra to the point I’m thinking of making it my first tattoo. But where?
 
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I'm thinking maybe I should have explicitly added fruit to the title, or gone totally across the board and said Plants and Cheese. You know, something along the lines of dates stuffed with candied walnuts and smoked Stilton.
Now you are telling me! :p I've already got a stack of veg entries lined up but the mention of fruit is very exciting...
 
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I'm don't think this recipe technically fits the challenge parameters but, since the definition of "veggie" has been broadened, I've taken that to include mushrooms. If not, then the green onions and shallots used in the recipe should squeak me in. If they don't qualify, then, enjoy the recipe anyway. I had a lot of fun making it and drinking some delicious wine along the way.

For those who are curious, the wine I was drinking was a beautiful semi dry Riesling from The New York Finger Lakes Region; my second favorite Riesling producing region. It was also used in the recipe. :)

The recipe is Coquilles St. Jacques.

Here is what you will need:

For two people:

6 to 8 Sea Scallops
8 to 10 medium sized mushroom, sliced (what type is up to you. I used baby bellas)
2-3 cloves shallots
1 Green Onion, green part only
Course Ground Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp High Smoke Point Oil
1/2 Tsp Beurre Manie (optional)
1-2 cups shredded cheese such as Gruyere, White Cheddar etc (dealer's choice)
1 Cup good white wine such as Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc etc (Cognac is also a good option)
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
Tarragon

Preheat oven to 350'f (177'C)

***If using alcohol in the recipe is not an option, simply substitute chicken stock/broth and add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice for the acid.***

Begin by sweating the shallots in the butter over medium low heat. When the shallots begin to turn translucent, add the mushrooms with pinch of Kosher salt and a pinch fresh ground black pepper. Saute the mushrooms until they begin to gain a rich brown color. Make sure not to caramelize the mushrooms. Add the wine and let reduce slightly.

Here is where I break from the traditional method. The traditional method calls for poaching the scallops in the wine/mushroom mixture. Under most circumstances, I think poaching scallops is a sin that should carry a punishment no less than being forced to sit through the last 3 Pirates of Caribbean films or 20 lashes with a wet noodle. I choose to sear the scallops instead for the benefit of adding the depth of flavor that can only come from pan searing a scallop.

Remove the scallops from the pan (or liquid, if poaching) as soon as they reach rare to medium rare. Do not cook any more than medium rare in the pan. Strain the mushroom/wine liquid through a fine mesh strainer and reserve the liquid. Spoon the mushrooms into ramekins and cover the bottom. Place the scallops on top of the mushrooms, as many as will fit neatly.

Meanwhile, return the mushroom/wine liquid to the pan used to sear the scallops. Do not remove the scallop fond or we cannot be friends! Add the cream and lemon zest to the mushroom liquid. Reduce over medium high heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Be sure to taste along the way for salt and seasoning. I recommend not adding salt until its done reducing. When the liquid reduces to the desired flavor intensity, remove from the heat. The liquid should be thick enough to coat a spoon. If not, return to the heat and add the beurre manie incrementally and stir with a whisk until it reaches the desired consistency. Spoon the sauce over the scallops and mushroom. Cover the scallops with shredded cheese and place under a broiler until the cheese melts and caramelizes. About 8 to 10 minutes.

** I measure the time in 3 minute increments because different cheeses caramelize at different rates under a broiler.**

Garnish with tarragon and green onion.

Enjoy! :)
 

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I thought that the French 'coquilles' translates to shells, and the French word for scallops is escallop. But then, I got a C in French class, and that was close to 50 years ago.

But I really do love them prepared this way, used to have them about once a month when married to my first wife. My wife now, Karen, doesn't care for them.

And yes, mushrooms qualify, I even mentioned stuffed portabellas in my opening post.

mjb.
 
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Looks nice, but I wonder what its traditional name is -- coquilles St Jacques are just scallops!
I always understood the name to translate as "St. James Scallops". But, you're right. "Coquilles" in French means "shells." I'm no linguist, but, it would seem the literal translation is "St. James Shells."

However, teamfat teamfat is correct. In doing a cursory internet search on the origins of the dish's name, it would seem the French refer to scallops casually as "coquilles" even though the French word for scallops is "escalopes".

I guess this will continue to be an unsolved culinary mystery. :)
 
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We're off-topic, of course, but I did a little digging. Coquilles St.-Jacques are the greater scallops of the Atlantic that have the most gastronomic credentials in France. Older books (Escoffier, etc.) don't even bother to mention that there are other kinds of scallops. Unfortunately, Larousse doesn't present anything much like this, nor do the big pseudo-encyclopedic tomes by Bocuse or Robuchon.

That said, what you've made looks rather like a classic dish, something Escoffier and the Guide Culinaire call "Coquilles St.-Jacques à la Parisienne," but with cheese; there is also Coquilles St.-Jacques gratin or au gratin, but it doesn't have the mushrooms and such, which are traditionally a specialty of Paris (they were grown beneath the city in these amazing crypt-like places).

So it might be "Coquilles St.-Jacques gratinée à la Parisienne." Something like that. (Gratinées, to agree with coquilles? Gratin de coquilles St.-Jacques à la Parisienne? Coquilles St.-Jacques à la Parisienne gratiné(e)(s)? My grammar is dubious at best.) I note that on the internet there are versions of the Parisian dish with a cheese topping, just labeled à la Parisienne, but Escoffier doesn't agree... and then again Julia Child (Mastering the Art, vol. 1) puts cheese on her coquilles à la Parisienne....

Anyway, it looks pretty -- I'd wolf that down happily, and I know I'd have to fight my daughter for it.
 
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from The New Larousse Gastronomique by Prosper Montagne
"Scallop. Petoncle"
"Scallop Saint-Jacques. Coquille Saint-Jacques...commonly known as the pilgrim shell..."

from The Great Book of French Cuisine by Henri Paul Pellaprat
"Scallops (Petoncles) In France scallops are called coquilles Saint Jacques, from the fact that in the Middle Ages the shells were brought back by pilgrims to the shrine of St. James of Compostella."

from The Escoffier Cook Book / A guide to the Fine Art Of Cookery by A. Escoffier
"Scallops Au Gratin / Coquille Saint-Jacques au Gratin
After having scrubbed and cleaned the lower shells, cover the shell inside with Duxelles Sauce (223) and add a half teaspoon of white wine. On top of this sauce arrange the scallops; place slices of raw mushrooms around the edges of the shell, and cover the whole with a gratin sauce (270).
Sprinkle with herbs and bread crumbs, brush with mleted butter, and prepare a gratin, taking note that the Complete Gratin (269) should be used here."
 
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Are All Y'all gonna cook something, or just jibber jabber??? Isn't it the name of a dish for you know like Oysters Rockefeller, Lobster Newburg, etc.? :lol:
 
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I made roasted cauliflower asiago soup.

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I began by roasting a head of cauliflower. Meanwhile I sauteed a yellow onion and the white part of scallions in 4 or 5 tablespoons of good butter.

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I added chicken stock and the roasted cauliflower and cooked for about half an hour until everything was very tender. I then purred about half of the mixture and made sure to break up any very large pieces of cauliflower. When ready to serve I added cream and heated it again and then added grated asiago off of the heat.

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I garnished with panchetta and green onion and served with asiago cheesy bread and a dry white wine.
 
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Must be soup day - I made potato leek with a twist. I started with thick bacon for lardon, then added my leek, shallot and garlic and let that sweat. Then I added fresh thyme, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and my quartered red potatoes. Here's where things took a turn. I had a pint of Tam Yum broth in the icebox so I added that before adding a quart of home made chicken bone broth. After simmering till tender I put the stick blender to it along with a little heavy cream then adjusted for seasoning. Another turn - because of the Tam Yum coconut, ginger, lime and chili were present in the flavor so I seasoned further with worcestershire, sambal and white pepper.

I toasted slices of leftover garlic bread then ladled my soup over that, topped with smoked gouda and 3yr. aged gouda, a little bacon then into a 500F oven till melted. Wow - what a nice change from traditional - might have to do that with French onion.

 
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I always understood the name to translate as "St. James Scallops". But, you're right. "Coquilles" in French means "shells." I'm no linguist, but, it would seem the literal translation is "St. James Shells."

However, teamfat teamfat is correct. In doing a cursory internet search on the origins of the dish's name, it would seem the French refer to scallops casually as "coquilles" even though the French word for scallops is "escalopes".

I guess this will continue to be an unsolved culinary mystery. :)

I made this dish quite often pretty much as you describe. I was told it was called" Coquilles St. Jacque a la Parisienne."
 
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roasted cauliflower tossed with cracked freekeh, grated myzithra, toasted almonds, and fresh herbs; drizzled with a creamy garlic chevre tahini sauce and topped with pan seared halloumi medallions seasoned with ras el hanout

coffee bean roasted baby rainbow carrots with a smoked gouda sauce

wild harvested turkey breast prepared in an East Indian makhani style

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Only a few days left. Some nice looking entries from some of the regulars, I'd enjoy seeing some new names on some posts.

mjb.
 
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SundayI made roast chicken with roast cauliflower topped with grated parm and a fire roasted poblano filled with a mixture of ricotta and sharp cheddar. Funny I plated my wife's first, but when I put my poblano on the plate it slipped and the cheese fell out - grrrr. I went to get a picture of hers, but she'd already tore into it - LOL. Oh well - they were good sides.


Last night I made Pizza - I made sauce from imported strained tomatoes as a base, an Italian cheese blend, anchovies, fire roasted poblano, shaved onion and shaved garlic. For an extra flavor hit I added some of the anchovy oil to the sauce and oiled my pan with the rest - Wow nice flavor and crunch on the crust bottom - try it!!
 
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I've got a backlog of things to post - been cooking veg and cheese lots! I'm loving this challenge.

Saag Paneer
In Indian restaurants in the UK, saag paneer is usually made with spinach (palak paneer). In fact, the word ‘saag’ is a generic word for greens in Hindi. If you make this dish using spinach, there is no need to precook it - you can add it straight to the sauce. For the sauce I used a tin of yellow tomatoes but it will work equally well with red tomatoes. Serve with rice or Indian flatbreads.

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My recipe here: Chard Saag Paneer
 
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