Recipe By Chef John
Published Nov 14th
Prep 20m Cook 30m Additional - Ready In 50m
Servings 4 servings Calories 374.3

For something fancy, this is pretty easy to make. It’s one of the world’s most delicious dishes. It’s rich and decadent, and yet still light.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup diced shallots
  • ½ pound white button mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 large oven-safe scallop shells
  • ¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • 8 fresh tarragon leaves

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; saute shallots in the hot butter until translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir mushrooms, salt, and black pepper into shallots. Turn heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. 2 Pour white wine over mushroom mixture, dissolving any browned bits of food on bottom of skillet into wine; bring to a simmer. Gently place scallops into wine and poach in the mushroom mixture until barely firm, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer scallops to a bowl. Strain mushroom mixture into another bowl, reserving mushrooms and cooking liquid separately. Return strained liquid to skillet, pour in any accumulated juices from scallops, and stir in cream. Bring to a boil and cook until cream sauce is reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Stir often. Turn off heat and let mixture cool for 1 minute.
  3. 3 Quickly whisk egg yolk into cream sauce until combined. Transfer skillet to a work surface (such as a heatproof countertop or cutting board) and stir cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons tarragon, and lemon zest into sauce.
  4. 4 Divide mushroom mixture into scallop shells, spreading mushrooms out to cover bottoms of shells; place about 3 scallops onto each portion. Spoon cream sauce over scallops to coat; let sauce drizzle down into mushrooms. Sprinkle lightly with Gruyere cheese and paprika or cayenne.
  5. 5 Turn oven's broiler to high. Slightly crinkle a large sheet of aluminum foil and place onto a baking sheet. Place filled shells onto foil and press lightly to help them stay level.
  6. 6 Broil about 10 inches from the heat source until sauce is bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to serving plates lined with napkins to prevent shells from tipping; garnish each portion with 2 crossed tarragon leaves.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 374.3
  • Carbohydrate 8.3 g
  • Cholesterol 161.6 mg
  • Fat 21.6 g
  • Fiber 0.9 g
  • Protein 26.3 g
  • Saturated Fat 12.3 g
  • Sodium 318.8 mg
  • Sugar 2.3 g


  1. I made this exactly as written with no additions or substitutions and although it looked and smelled wonderful, it had such a strong taste of wine that it was not pleasing to the palate. We ate it all, but I would not make it again unless I substituted chicken broth or water and cut out - Read more ...
  2. There are a lot of steps to this recipe but it is so worth it. The sauce is amazing - you have to do it anyway ! I did make it the day before because of the complications and it work really well. On the night of the dinner when my guests arrived I just - Read more ...
  3. This recipe was OK....but a lot of dirty pans were created, and it required a lot of steps. Certainly not an easy recipe to make; taste was fairly good, but nothing to write home about -- or rave about. I think in the future I will stick to the simpler recipe I have used in - Read more ...
  4. In place of tarragon, add herbes De provence to mixture. Used single baking dish, layer bottom with Jasmine rice, then mushrooms followed by scallops. sprinkle smoked paprika on top.
  5. As I live in the middle of nowhere, shallots are hard to come by. Instead, I chop up a bunch of green onions and a "generous" amount of minced garlic (I prefer shallots), use a dry sherry for the wine and portobello's for mushrooms. I've used various cheeses for the topping and top that with - Read more ...
  6. Awesome wonderful I got rave reviews for this one. Make sure you have the full 10 inch distance when broiling I did not and it was almost a disaster
  7. Fun to make and delicious to eat. Instead of lemon zest, I added a couple dashes of lemoncello to the sauce (from the glass that I was sipping, of course!) Magnificent!! Will definitely make again. A wonderful appetizer for a company meal.
  8. I made this sauce for whitefish (ling cod) with a few variations because I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand. It turned out wonderful!! Instead of shallots I minced purple onion and added 1 tsp of minced garlic. I substituted evaporated milk for cream but I will make sure to have the cream - Read more ...
  9. This was absolutely wonderful for a Valentine's dinner with my DH. I did not change a thing. The flavors melded perfectly with main star of the dish, the scallops. This is a keeper.
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