Saturday, February 9, 2008

Glazed Shallots

Recipe from Martha Stewart Everyday Food and Tested in Alice's Kitchen
Serves 6

My good buddy, Ellen, came up to visit us this weekend. She and I whipped up a fabulous dinner, which included this dish and we all enjoyed every bite. I'm almost afraid that once you've tried this, Lost River Market & Deli will sell out of their lovely shallots and there won't be any left for me! We both agreed that this recipe would taste best with pork or beef. She and my husband, Jim, liked the sweetness, but I would have preferred it to be a bit more tangy, so when you make it, adjust the sugar to your liking. Be sure to keep the root ends in tact so that the shallots retain their shape. We ate the shallots with the root ends still on and couldn't tell they were there.

To make peeling easy, place shallots in a bowl of hot water, and soak until skins loosen (they'll be wrinkled and cracked), about 15 minutes. Using a paring knife, slip skins off.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound small shallots (about 12), peeled, leaving root ends intact, halved lengthwise if large
1 teaspoon grated orange zest and 1/2 cup juice (from about 2 oranges)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons light-brown sugar (or less, if desired)
Coarse salt and ground pepper

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add shallots, and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 3/4 cups water, orange zest and juice, vinegar, and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and cook over medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, shallots are tender enough to be easily pierced with the tip of a knife, and liquid is syrupy, 35 to 40 minutes. (Raise heat to high for a few minutes if shallots are tender but not quite glazed.) Serve.

shallot [SHAL-uht, shuh-LOT] This is anonion-family member (Allium ascalonicum ) Shallots are formed more like garlic than onions, with a head composed of multiple cloves, each covered with a thin, papery skin. The skin color can vary from pale brown to pale gray to rose, and the off-white flesh is usually barely tinged with green or purple. Fresh green shallots are available in the spring, but as with garlic and onions, dry shallots (i.e., with dry skins and moist flesh) are available year-round. Choose dry-skinned shallots that are plump and firm; there should be no sign of wrinkling or sprouting. Refrigerate fresh shallots for up to a week. Store dry shallots in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place for up to a month. Shallots are favored for their mild onion flavor and can be used in the same manner as onions.

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