Scallops Saint Jacques with champagne sauce

Scallops Saint Jacques with champagne sauce

James Martin's French Adventure
Peter Cassidy

Sounds glam – and, I’ve got to be honest, it is – but a splash of Champagne in sauces for fish dishes works a treat. To open the scallops, ease a small sharp knife between the two halves of the shell and wiggle to prise open, or ask your fishmonger to do this for you.


Quantity Ingredient

For the scallops

Quantity Ingredient
300g baking potatoes, washed
12 scallops in the shell
cooking salt, about 300g
2 egg yolks
125g butter
1 banana shallot, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
4 baby leeks, trimmed and finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
15g gruyere cheese, finely grated
15g fine breadcrumbs
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

Quantity Ingredient
110g butter
2 shallots, finely sliced
150ml white wine
150ml fish stock
150ml double cream
110ml champagne
2 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and finely diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped chervil
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1/2 lemon, juiced


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Prick the potatoes all over with the tip of a knife then bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the scallops from the shells, clean well and trim away any grey muscle, leaving the main flesh of the scallop. Scrub four of the deep halves of the shells clean, rinse well then place in the oven for a couple of minutes to dry out. Make four mounds of cooking salt on a baking tray and nestle a scallop shell on each one so they sit flat.
  3. Leave the baked potatoes to cool for a few minutes before cutting them in half and scooping out the flesh. Pass the potato flesh through a ricer into a bowl (or finely mash with a potato masher), then add the egg yolks and 25g of the butter and work with a wooden spatula until smooth. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and set aside.
  4. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan until hot, add 50g of the butter and cook the scallops for 1–1½ minutes each side until golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
  5. Heat a large sauté pan over low to medium heat, add the remaining 50g butter and fry the shallot, carrot, leeks and celery for 10 minutes until soft. Divide these between the scallop shells, then place three scallops in each shell on top of the vegetables.
  6. To make the sauce, heat a frying pan until hot, add the butter and shallots and fry over low heat for 2–3 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce by half, then add the fish stock and reduce that by half. Add the cream and reduce by half and then finally add the Champagne, tomatoes, herbs and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat the grill to high. Pour the Champagne sauce over the scallops, then pipe the potato mixture around the edge of each scallop shell. Sprinkle with the Gruyère cheese and breadcrumbs. Place the baking tray under the grill for 1–2 minutes until the sauce is lightly glazed and the potato border is pale golden.
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