Thou Shall Shallot

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You’ll find no shortage of shallots at the farmer’s market around this time of year. They’ve got that nice kind of like an onion, kind of like garlic quality to them. My bright (no, brilliant) wife suggested we fry some up as a crunchy garnish to a pork chop dinner that was otherwise crunchless. I did as commanded, then, toward the end, threw in a handful of sage leaves. And with that we had an all purpose autumnal garnish, with a potato chip-like appeal that appeals to kids as well as adults.

Crispy Shallot and Sage Garnish
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced shallots (about 6 biggish ones)
10 or so sage leaves
kosher salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

In a small sauce pan, heat oil over medium high heat until it reaches 325 degrees fahrenheit (a high sided pan is crucial; and an instant read thermometer with the appropriate range is vital here as well—I used an electronic probe dealie). Carefully add shallots (a spider strainer takes the fear out of this step). Fry until golden brown, watching carefully the whole time, adjusting heat as necessary (you want the whole affair foaming, bubbling, sizzling in a harmonious way).

As the shallots approach golden, add the sage leaves, and let cook about a minute, maybe more. You will have been wise to have laid paper towels on a large plate. Scoop shallots and sage out of oil with spider strainer, and drain on paper towel/plate setup. Immediately sprinkle with kosher or sea salt to turn on the flavor. Top anything with it (pork, chicken, and fish usually could use the help) or eat it straight.
—Hugh

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