Coquilles saint-jacques aux girolles

scallops chanterelles2This is a French version of surf and turf, a perfect marriage of succulent scallops from the sea and golden chanterelle mushrooms from the forest. I’d been longing to make the dish this autumn, but chanterelles — girolles in French — are capricious and not always available at the market when you want them. Ditto fresh scallops. There’s a season for them, at least in France, and if you ask too early the fishmonger will look askance, making you feel that you’ve committed a terrible social (or culinary) blunder.

Coquilles saint-jacques aux girolles / Pan-seared sea scallops with chanterelles

But not to worry — this dish may be prepared with frozen scallops with results that are almost as great. And as for the chanterelles, you can substitute a different type of wild mushrooms, including varieties that are available dried, like morels. Still, there’s nothing like the real thing. So it’s worth the effort, and the money, to go for fresh everything if at all possible. Serve the sea scallops with anything from a purée — of celery root, cauliflower or pumpkin, for example — to fresh tagliatelle or simply mixed greens, as shown in the photo. Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, the scallops and wild mushrooms are very quick to prepare — and the results are spectacular.

Front.coverNow here’s some big news: My memoir has come out! It is now available on Amazon as a paperback or for Kindle. In case you missed the description last week, Desperate to Be a Housewife tells the story of my alter ego, Mona Venture, as she leaves America during the Vietnam era, moves to Paris, becomes a reporter, and goes on to London and Gorbachev’s Moscow, amid many misadventures with men — and some great meals! For details, go to my personal web site,

All of the menus on this site have now been updated for fall. To check them out, click Menus on the black bar at the top of the page. Happy cooking!

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