Always a favorite of mine as such an amazing dish comes from such a simple process- caramelization of the scallop in a clarified butter. From that point, there are also so many variations for flavor pairings to encompass a whole dish. In this particular instance, I went a little outside of the norm and tailored it to have autumn-like elements as that was the season it was created.
The initial searing of the scallops is the easy part. Some heated clarified butter toss in the scallops and sear both sides until slight caramelization occurs.
First was coming up with a complimentary side dish. When sweet potatoes come to mind, typically think of hearty and savory- possibly highly seasoned or on the sweetened side. In this instance, I figured most of the stronger flavors would be from the scallops/topping so I used the sweet potato with more of its natural earthy flavor. Using a mandoline slicer, I cut thin slices and then used a circular cutter to make circles (slightly larger than the scallops. I then baked them in the oven on a baking sheet.
With the savory and earthy aspects covered by the scallops and sweet potato, then next was spicing it up a little and adding a slightly sweet side but not too much as to take away from the scallops. I went with a pear compote (pears have some sweetness but aren’t overbearing) and with a little cayenne pepper and whiskey (add a little spice and smokiness).
Overall, I felt the flavors meshed rather well. The dish had the richness of the scallops balanced nicely with the earthy tone of the potato and a little smoky-sweetness from the pear compote.