Un peu plus sophistiqué – Coquilles de choucroute au St Jacques et sauce moutarde



When I get nostalgic, I turn towards food and cooking to bring me back some flavors and memories of Alsace-Lorraine.  I am so lucky to be living in San Francisco, because I can always find something that takes me back home.

This time, it was choucroute, which is sourkraut, it’s basically  shredded cabbage fermented for about one month with salt and isolated from air. Choucroute dish comes from Alsace region, Germany is bordering it and consume a lot of it a as well but not the same way. Both cuisines has some similarities, but Alsacian one has a French twist. I found this sourkraut at the Rainbow and it ‘s quite good. In the South Bay, you can find good choucroute at Ditmers, the German Butchers on San Antonio in Mountain View.

I am not certain that many Californians know much about this dish, but maybe those of German descent or Alsacian descent might. Traditional Choucroute is made with different kinds of pork meat, can be smoked and with different kinds of sausages and potatoes and served with strong mustard. It can also be made with fish and seafood, choucroute aux fruits de mer, and this one is more an inspiration of the seafood choucroute but in a small bite version.

Ingredients for about 10 bites

For the choucroute and scallops

  • 10 large fresh sea scallops
  • 3/4  lb choucroute
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 glass of white wine or pale ale beer
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the mustard sauce

  • 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs wine vinegar
  • 3 tbs heavy cream
  • 1 tsp olive oil


Wash the cabbage. Bring a water to a boil and boil cabbage for about 2-3 minutes. Some people do not blanch it, but I prefer it blanched since it tends to get really acid sometimes. Blanching it will remove that acidity. Drain.

In a large pot, add olive oil and brown onions, add diced bacon. Cook bacon and let flavors come out. Add cabbage, juniper berries, bay leaves, wine, salt and pepper. Cover and cook at medium heat for about one hour.

For the mustard sauce, brown shallots in olive oil, add vinegar, reduce add mustard and cream.

Grill scallops on both sides. Place in individual appetizer dishes, one tbs of cabbage, then add one scallop and one tsp of mustard sauce.