Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Shallot

I have loved cooking with Shallots since I was first introduced to them but I don't know when that was.  If you go to the "search section" of my blog, it's on the right side, you can type in Shallots and every recipe that includes them in will come up.  I sneak them in here and there for depth and to create subtle complexities in simple to make recipes.

They are incredibly versatile and can be minced, cut in quarters or cut into slices. They can be sauteed and caramelized, roasted, or served crispy as a garnish. They are found in the produce section of the grocery store, normally sold loose near and around the garlic.  At some stores they are packaged and you have to buy 3 or 4.  They aren't cheap, about $4 a pound, but a little goes a long way.  I particularly like when I can buy them loose because I buy exactly the size and quantity I need.

What I find interesting is that in SE Louisiana they love to refer to Scallions as Shallots.  I think it was Emeril, not really being from here and also a Chef by formal education, who set the record straight for viewers.  When he said Shallots, he meant it.

Recently, I had a discussion with someone who said, Shallots Scallions, they are all the same.  They absolutely are not.  Photographed is a Shallot, cut open.  It is a bulb, has a paper exterior like an onion, has layers like an onion and is best cooked.  It tastes only like a Shallot.  If you haven't tried them in the past, I use them in my Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe.  They can be caramelized and added to the top of a pizza, sliced sirloin steak or a spinach salad.  The uses are endless.  I would have to say that after Salt and Pepper, it is the most important ingredient in my kitchen when it comes to flavor.  This New Year, go buy shallots and you will engage in a love affair that never ends!!

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