Brigtsen’s Scallops with Sweet Potato Purée and Onion Marmalade

  • Serves

    serves 4


The sweet potato puree and onion marmalade enhance the natural sweetness of scallops in this recipe by New Orleans chef Frank Brigtsen. This recipe first appeared in the iPad edition of our April 2013 issue along with Lolis Eric Elie's article New Orleans.


  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 12 cup fresh orange juice, plus the zest of 1 orange
  • 12 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 12 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
  • 14 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. large scallops (about 10–12)
  • 14 cup Creole seasoning


Step 1

Melt 4 tbsp. butter in a 12" skillet over medium heat. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 18-20 minutes. Add sugar, juice, vinegar, honey, thyme, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring, until thick, about 25 minutes; discard thyme and set marmalade aside.

Step 2

Bring potatoes and 5 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium and cook until tender, 18-20 minutes. Drain potatoes and transfer to a food processor with 6 tbsp. butter, cream, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Purée until smooth; transfer to a bowl and keep warm.

Step 3

Heat remaining butter plus olive oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Toss scallops with Creole seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook scallops, flipping once, until golden and cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Serve scallops over sweet potato purée; drizzle with onion marmalade.

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