I adore scallops. They are not overly sweet, and mild enough that you can pretty much pair them with anything and they will be good. But, they can be pretty intimidating for most people because they have a very narrow window in which they can be cooked perfectly. Here is the secret. HOT pan, quick sear, QUALITY scallops, and generously salt and peppered.
4 tbsp. coconut oil
1 lb. sea scallops
1/2 onion, medium dice
4 small carrots, medium dice
1 zucchini, medium dice
4 ribs celery, medium dice
1 tbsp. Chinese five spice powder
1 tsp. fresh minced ginger
1/2 c. white wine
juice of one orange
zest of two oranges
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
For the compote, heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp. coconut oil, and once melted, add onion. Cook until the onion is translucent and starts to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook until they are crisp tender, about another 6-8 minutes. Then add the zucchini, cooking until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chines five spice and stir well. Reduce to low, cover and check once in awhile to make sure they vegetables aren't over cooking while you do the scallops.
Heat a large sauté pan on HIGH heat. To get the scallops ready make sure they are clean and dry completely, using paper towel. Salt and pepper generously. Add the coconut oil to the pan and swirl it so it melts quickly. When the oil just starts to ripple, but not smoke, add the scallops, allowing plenty of room in the pan in between each one. Sear on each side for 2 minutes. Remove from pan, set aside and cover with foil. Add remaining scallops, cooking the same way.
Put the ginger in the pan after the scallops have been removed, cooking for about one minute. Add wine to pan, keeping the heat on high. Allow the wine to reduce by half. Add the zest and juice, reduce to medium high heat and reduce again by half. Add the orange sections, and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over scallops and serve immediately.