Life is funny.
We strut, and stride, and march along, desperate to be sure of where we’re going, but so often secretly waiting for the wind to come along and steer us in the right direction. Mistakes take us by surprise and may humble or inspire, but often, without our even knowing, they become the new compass from which we guide ourselves.
[How is THAT for a pile of mixed metaphors…geeeez louise, get this woman to English Majors Anonymous!]
Such was the case with this dinner, thrown together in less than 30 minutes, and ultimately the result of my Pommes Paillasson (or potato pancake if you’re not feeling fancy and French) cooking beautifully and then absolutely wiping out when I tried to flip it out of the pan one last time. The scallops were done, the greens were wilting, and I suddenly had a mess on my hands. I decided to instead turn this into a Sweet Potato Hash via adding the disintegrated potato back to the pan, turning the heat to high, and rapidly chopping it together. The result was a surprisingly spectacular dinner and a good reminder that sometimes, maybe every just now and then, things happen for a reason.
Sweet Potato Hash served on a Bed of Winter Greens with Pancetta and Finished with Caramelized Scallops and a Spicy Remoulade
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated (a food processor makes this a breeze
5 TB Butter
1/2 cup pancetta, if you can’t find, bacon is fine, use about 4 slices
1 bunch rainbow chard, washed, greens thinly sliced, stems discarded
1 cup bay scallops, dry packed
- In a 12-inch non-stick pan melt 2 TB butter over high heat until the foam subsides. At the shredded potato and reduce to moderate. Press firmly to make a round pancake in the pan. Cook over moderate heat until golden brown, 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a second skillet, cook the bacon until nearly done and beginning to crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and remove excess bacon grease from pan, leaving about 1 TB in there.
- Once the first side of the potatoes are done, gently slide onto a plate. Add another 2 TB butter to pan, return to high heat until the foam subsides. Using a second plate, flip the potatoes and then gently slide back into the pan over moderate heat. Cook another 12 minutes until golden brown on second side.
- When you are about 5 minute out on the potatoes, add the greens and the bacon to that pan, and saute over medium heat until just beginning to wilt.
- In a third non-stick pan, add the final TB butter, and melt over high heat. Add the scallops in, and cook over high heat (a splatter guard is virtually essential for this), tossing occasionally until nicely caramelized.
- As the greens and scallops are finishing, and once both sides of the potato pancakes are golden, coarsely chop up over high heat to finish the hash.
- To plate, divide the greens and bacon among two plates, using a 1/2 cup metal measuring cup, tightly pack half the hash, and then flip onto the greens, scatter half the scallops, and finish with a Spicy Remoulade.
- Serve immediately.
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon parsley, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon, capers, finely minced
Combine all ingredients, season to taste.