Adventures in Everyday Entertaining
In a new series called ‘Ingredient Spotlight’, I will highlight a different ingredient each week and provide recipe suggestions as well. For my first post in the series, I thought I would cover shallots. Growing up I did not like onions at all. In fact, I didn’t start liking onions until I was about 30. Shallots were my gateway to onions. Their milder and slightly sweeter flavor really “spoke” to my taste buds.
**All information presented below is primarily sourced from Alton Brown’s “Good Eats: The Early Years” and “The World Encyclopedia of Cooking Ingredients”.**
Shallots are a sub-species of the onion. They, along with onions, garlic, leeks, and chives, are part of the lily family and grown from bulbs rather than seeds. Shallots have a low water content. This allows them to be stored in a cool, dry place for months at a time prior to use. However, it also means that when not watched, they can burn and toughen easily when fried. When purchasing shallots, they should be firm and without any green shoots.
There are several varieties of shallots. The ones pictured above are known as Pink Shallots, or Echalote Grise. These have a reddish skin and pink-tinged flesh. They have a crisp texture and have a more pungent (though not harsh) flavor.
‘Brown’, ‘English’ or ‘Dutch’ Shallots (all three names work — depending on what part of the world you are in) are small and tan-skinned. They are a really good all-purpose shallot and separate into subsidiary bulbs when peeled.
Banana Shallots are named from the elongated shape. Their skin is tan and they have a milder flavor than other shallots. They are also the largest variety.
Asian/Thai Red Shallots are used extensively in many South-East Asian countries. They are small, round red bulb. Their flavor is much stronger than other shallot varieties.
Below are some great dishes that include shallots. Simply click on the image to be taken to recipe!
MMMM … I love shallots. I slice them in circles, deep fry them to a crisp and sprinle on poatato soup. YUM …!!!
Informative articles and recipes … thanks
You’re quite welcome! And deep fried shallots on potato soup sound divine!!
After your earlier post on green bean with bacon and shallots, we couldn’t wait to read more about shallots They’re so robust and flavorful–great in so many dishes!
They really are. I actually think that I am a borderline shallot addict! lol 🙂
Great post, Kenley! To me shallots is ingredient No1, honestly, i have hard time remembering a savory dish which tastes good without it! I am keen on trying the cauliflower gratin recipe! (And, GEEZ, i just remembered my mother had asked me to get her some green beans – it’s raining cats and dogs over here, she can’t go out… and of course i had completely forgot about it!!! Eeek, must run to groceries first thing in the morning tomorrow! Thank you for the reminder! ;))
HAHA! So glad I could remind you!!! And I really think you’ll love the Cauliflower Gratin! 🙂
Awesome – great idea for a series! I can’t wait to see all of the ingredients you spotlight. 🙂
Thanks Leah! I think it’s going to be a lot of fun! 🙂
I love everything! And I see my favorite in there.., green beans! Delicious 🙂
Hehe! Yes indeed! Thanks Judy 🙂
I wasn’t aware there are so many kind of shallots until I come across a beautiful variety from France.Their shallots are longer then the Asia ones and the taste is not so strong which is good for salad. Thank you for sharing Kenley. Are you going to post about garlic? The fresh ones I saw in Switzerland looks amazingly good. Unfortunately I don’t get to cook when I was there.
I believe the long ones that you’re referring to are part of the banana shallot variety. Really love those! And yes, garlic is definitely going to be covered! Garlic is pry the one ingredient that I think I use even more than shallots! 😉 I’ll have to look up what varieties are in Switzerland. Too bad you weren’t able to cook with them.
Ooh, I do love shallots.
Me too!!! 🙂
i just started experimenting with shallots and man oh man has it opened my eyes! these guys pack such a flavor punch!
They truly are wonderful!! Can’t imagine my cooking without them 😉
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