Two words: butter poaching.
I wanted to sear some scallops that I bought, but they were HUGE. A sear would leave me with ice-cold raw-in-the-middle scallops. Blech. So, with the Alinea cookbook still playing in the background of my mind, I thought, why not do a gentle butter poach first, then sear. Not content to leave well enough alone, I went with a brown butter poach, then a super hot sear and served them with a watercress puree. The slightly bitter tang of the watercress was a clean offset to the rich scallops. The little puffy things in the photo are spicy tempura style rock shrimp for crunch. Served with a nice little rose' and a smile.