Seared Scallops with Onion Confit and Veggies

Seared scallops, onion confit over creamy mashed potatoes and green beans
Today I learned that "confit" is basically just a fancy name for something you cook the hell out of until it ends up looking like a marmalade. No, really, it’s a way of preserving foods by cooking it in its own fat. Which can also be done with various meats, vegetables, poultry or fruits. Here's my first attempt at making an onion confit, accompanied by Alton Browns best (in my opinion) scallop recipe.

Onion confit:
3 onions
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup beef bouillon
2 tsp sugar

Peel and slice the onions. You can also substitute red onion for this as well, but I haven’t tried it yet. Heat oil until it slides but don't let it get too hot. Add the onions.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir to make sure all onions are coated with oil. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook the onions until they are soft, stirring occasionally. It should take about 30 minutes. The onions need to be soft, yet not brown! Browning them might make them a bit bitter. Next, add the sugar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, beef stock and stir well. A pinch or parsley. Continue to cook the onions (stir occasionally) until the liquid is all gone, another 30 minutes or so.

Meanwhile the confit is ready to go, begin the mashed potatoes.

For the potatoes:

2 1/2 cups Water
3 large potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoons of butter
Generous dash ground black pepper
Salt to taste


Bring the water over high heat to a boil in 3-quart. Add potatoes, Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain.
Mash potatoes with 1/4 cup milk, butter and black pepper/ salt. Add additional milk, if needed, until desired consistency.

For the scallops:

1 to 1 1/4 pounds dry sea scallops, approximately 16
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Rinse scallops with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. Add the butter and oil to a 12 to 14-inch saute pan on high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops. Once the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.

Green beans:

Boil green beans.
Fill a large pot with just enough water to cover the beans. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and then add the freshly washed and trimmed beans to the water.
Once the water comes to a boil again, turn the heat down and let the beans simmer for about 4 minutes or until they are tender but still crisp.Drain the beans, season them with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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