Coquilles Saint-Jacques is translated as Saint James’s scallops, a rich mixture of butter, cream, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese, baked in a scallop shell.
The scallop shell is the emblem of Saint James the Greater. The saint’s association with the scallop shell is based on a legend that he once rescued a knight covered in scallops; a variation on the tale is that, while his remains were being transported to Spain from Jerusalem, the horse of a knight fell into the water and emerged covered in scallop shells. As a result, Medieval Christians making the pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, often wore a scallop shell symbol on their clothing.
And so, this delicious dish in a wine-flavored cream sauce is served in a scallop shell and named after Saint Jacques. Consider serving it on March 12, National Baked Scallops Day; and on May 16th, National Coquilles Saint Jacques Day.
You can buy the scallop shells in any cookware store (including chain stores), and they’re useful for serving other foods, from hors d’oeuvres (olives, for example) to desserts. And of course, you can serve the recipe on any plate—scallop shells are not required!
Also try Crabe En Coquille, crab in a cream sauce with Cognac, also served in coquille shells.
Coquilles Saint Jacques History