This delicious treat is also sometimes referred to as the Shell of St. James. This seafood scallop dish is usually made with a mixture of butter, cream, mushrooms, and cheese.
Coquilles Saint Jacques can be made with either bay or sea scallops. White wine, brandy, or cognac are used to cook the scallops. It is usually made with Gruyere cheese but swiss may be substituted. A variety of seasonings ranging from cayenne, tarragon, and paprika to curry and parsley are used to complement the recipe, which is then baked in the scallop shell.
Great accompaniments include french cut green beans with almonds and fried onions.
The origins of this holiday are still unknown, however here is some interesting information about this interesting dish.
Many legends surround the scallop shell and the symbolism associated with St. James. One suggests the scallop shell replaced bowls for water and food for pilgrims during their journey to Santiago de Compostela. Some also suggest that St. James used the scalloped shell to beg for food and water during his pilgrimage. In Christianity, the scallop shell also represents the symbol of baptism.