For many cooks, and foodies as well, the proper garnish makes all the difference. Whether it’s chopped scallions floating on a bowl of soup, or a little sprig of mint nestled beside that cheesecake, the proper garnish is often the cherry on top. Today we have a look at one of our favourites..
If you have spent a holiday in the U.S., chances are you are familiar with French-fried onions, the indispensible ingredient in the classic green bean casserole. Crispy fried shallots are similar to these, but have a more complex, satisfying flavour with deeper umami notes, and are crispy and crunchy rather than chewy. They are also super-versatile, at home on a hamburger or veggie burger, atop a stir-fry or rice dish, tossed into salads or adorning a steak or the baked potato beside it. In fact crispy fried shallots are a wonderful and delicious replacement for bacon bits, great for vegetarians and vegans.
They are also great on top of omelettes, in sandwiches, and tucked into a hot dog bun. You get the idea; once you try this fantastic and super easy to make garnish you will find more and more ways to use them, in fact many of your favourite dishes may now seem incomplete without a doll’s handful of these totally addictive little beauties.
Crispy Fried Shallots
makes about two cups
8 shallots-10 shallots
1.5 cups vegetable oil
salt to taste
The trick to successful and super crispy shallots is to start them in cold or room temperature oil and gradually heat to medium. Peel the shallots and use a mandoline to slice them into rings about 2 mm thick. Put them in a pan and pour the oil over them. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat. As they heat up and start to cook, mess around with them with a fork to ensure that they don’t clump together (ugh) and that they cook evenly. After 20 min or so they will start to brown. Don’t let them get too dark! Strain them over a bowl, then spread them out on a paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt and put them in a mason jar once totally cool. They can be kept at room temperature in your cupboard for a week or so, and you can save and reuse the beautifully scented shallot oil for other savoury applications.