Monday, March 29, 2010

Shallots

I love shallots. Until I was introduced to the unique taste of shallots, I would substitute onions when I came across shallots as an ingredient in recipes - not knowing what I was missing!
We have grown shallots for the past two years on the Metzger Farm. The first year was strictly an experiment with one packet of seeds. Last summer we experimented more, growing four varieties with staggered plantings and were rewarded by harvesting enough to offer some for sale at the Coudersport Jubilee.
This year we're planning to grow more and market more.
In the meantime, we still have some of last year's harvest left as they're keeping well- as evidenced by the photo accompanying this blog post.
Today I'm planning to fill the old farmhouse with the aroma of carmelized shallots - an idea sparked by a visit to Williams-Sonoma yesterday afternoon.  On their gourmet food shelves, I spied jars of carmelized shallots and checked the label for and idea of how to make it at home.;
Here's the recipe I'm going to use. I'll let you know how it turns out and if you'd like to try your own, let me know and I'll provide the shallots!
Caramelized Shallots
2 lb. shallots, peeled but left intact
3 Tb. unsalted butter
2 Tb. sugar
Melt butter in an ovenproof skillet, add the shallots and sprinkle with sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the shallots begin to turn golden brown, stirring to keep them from sticking.. Add 3 Tb. red wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper and stir. Place the skillet in a 400 degree over and roast 15 to 30 minutes until they are tender. Season to taste.

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