Saint-Jacques coquilles au beurre blanc

I just love coquilles, I could eat a dozen of them. Too bad this, fancy and quite expensive starter contains only 2 or 3 pieces per dish. Saint-Jacques coquilles are delicate and contain a lot of flavor, but you have to make sure you buy them fresh and the best quality you can find.

Do you have a fancy dinner planned and are you looking for a starter, then this is your dish. Coquilles are quite easy to prepare, If you know what you are doing. Depending on the size the coquilles need only 35 seconds per side in a pre-heated pan).

The beurre blanc that will accompany your coquilles is a different story. Temperature control is key in making this sauce. Take your time and don’t rush this traditional French butter sauce. Beurre blanc contains a lot of flavor when made right, the creamy and freshness of the sauce will give a true compliment to your fresh coquilles. I like to use a  French chardonnay for this dish, that I will also serve cold with the starter. The creamy and fruitiness of the chardonnay will form a perfect base for your coquilles beurre blanc.

Here is my vision on Saint-Jacques coquilles au beurre blanc, enjoy!

Coquilles with beurre blanc – 6 persons

Recipe by Dave WielingaCourse: StarterCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium
Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 coquilles per person

  • 1 Saint-Jaqcues shell per person for serving

  • 1 sieve for the sauce

  • 250 gram unsalted dairy butter

  • 100 ml cooking cream

  • 150 ml white wine (chardonnay or sauvignon blanc)

  • 2 shallots

  • 1 dried laurel leaf

  • 1 lemon

  • salt and pepper

  • fresh parsley for garnish

  • baked bread crumbs garnish


  • Dice the shallots in very fine dices. A sharp and thin knife is important, You don’t want to damage the shallot and keep the flavor in. Chop the parsley fine and crush the breadcrumbs. Cut the butter in blocks and let them chill at room temperature.
  • Put your shallots with a little bit of butter in the sauce pan on medium heat. Don’t let the butter get brown. Add the 150ml wine and the dried laurel leave. Cook until you have around 50% of the wine left. Now filter all trough the sieve in a bowl. Put the sieved liquid back in the sauce pan.
  • Mix the transparent liquid with 100ml cooking cream and let boil for a few minutes. This is where the recipe gets tricky. Let the sauce cool down and put the pan on low fire. Add 2-3 block off butter at the time and mix them with a whisk. When the sauce is nice and smooth add 2-3 blocks more until the 250 grams are done. Never let the sauce boil again, because it will separate.
  • Season the sauce with pepper and salt and lemon rasp from the lemon peel, taste the sauce to check if you are happy. It should be creamy, silky and fresh. Keep the sauce at low temperature. Don’t forget to whisk, to keep it smooth before serving.
  • Pre heat the pan to 80% of the max heat. Melt some butter. When the better tend to get brown its time to add the coquilles. Turn them around after 35 second. Both sides should be a bit crisp and the middle should be glazy. Never keep them in too long, because it will ruin your precious coquilles. Time to serve. Put 2 coquilles in a shell and add the sauce on top. Garnish with parsley and breadcrumbs


  • Serve a great white wine with this dish. I love to serve this dish with a good French chardonnay.

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