Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Farmer's Market: Shallots

My favorite vegetable is onions.  Hands down.  They are so versatile: salsa, soups, sandwiches, salads, casseroles, omelettes, cake... well, maybe not cake.  Anyway, I thank my mother for my love of onions.  She's Italian, and she cooks like it (minus the garlic)... there's onion and green pepper in most of the family recipes, and, growing up, we always had those two veggies on hand.

Last Saturday, I ventured alone to the farmer's market.  It shouldn't surprise you that I bought a box of small yellow onions.  We've already used three or four of them!  I also bought a close cousin of the beloved onion: shallots.  They are small (thumb-sized), garlic shaped onions.

I bought a small carton of shallots for my next farmer's market cooking adventure.  After some research, I decided upon Ina Garten's (Barefoot Contessa) recipe for Carmelized Shallots.

First step, peel off the papery skin!

See how they have little "cloves" like garlic?  They're also juicy and layered like an onion.  And, boy, do they smell like onion.  My eyes were watering by the end of the stack, and my eyes hardly ever water when I chop onions!

Next step, brown!

Is that butter?  Oh yes, and sugar, too.  We're carmelizing these suckers.  Yum-o!

Cook until they look like this, shaking the pan every once in a while:

Magic, I tell you, magic.

You'll then add Red Wine Vinegar, salt and pepper, and cook until soft.  (I skipped the oven, and just put a lid on the pot--it was 100 degrees today, and my little apartment heats up fast!)

I couldn't get the colors right in this picture (the lighting in my kitchen isn't set up for photography, imagine that), but you can see that they are getting soft and the sauce is thick and coating the shallots.

In the end, you'll get something quite delicious.  Try not to salivate when you look at the photo...

I served this with the easiest chicken ever (recipe below--makes it very tender and moist) and zucchini and squash casserole.  Handsome and I ate the shallots with the chicken, and it was delicious!!!  I would definitely make this again, and look forward to trying out more recipes with this dear cousin of my favorite veggie!

Crockpot Chicken
from my friend Suzanne

Chicken Breasts
Chicken Broth

Put raw chicken breasts in crock pot.  Pour over chicken broth to cover chicken.  (I used 3 chicken breasts and 2 c. broth in my small crock pot.)  Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours.

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