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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shallots. The superb member of the onion family.

This is the shallot. It's like the older sibling you were jealous of. It does everything, and it does it better. Sorry young Khloe Kardashian, you know it's true.

Life sized picture
Please don't confuse it with an onion or a scallion.

Onion, duh.

SCALLION or green onion.
So please people. Don't come into my cooking class and ask the guest star chef "what's the difference between a scallion and a shallot?" COME. ON. PEOPLE.
Okay so now that we've sorted out the difference between a shallot, scallion and onion, we can move on to the important stuff. What is a shallot you ask? The answer to this question will not be surprising.

It's like an onion, because it's a bulbous shape like an onion, and it has a skin like an onion. However, it has a lighter more delicate flavor than an onion, and it's smaller. And, its not at all like a scallion. NOT. AT. ALL. Oh and... most importantly, the shallot will not make you cry.

I always have shallots on hand in the crisper drawer of my fridge, and I use them in numerous dishes. They're easy like that. They're small, they keep for-ev-er, and they cost like 3 cents.

My favorite dish to use shallots in is guacamole. I'm obsessed with guacamole.  I kinda make it like 2 times a week, and it might be a problem. But we don't need to focus on that. I make it fresh... none of that guacamole packet mixer stuff. That's lame, and not to mention, expensive. The secret is the shallot.

2 avocados
1/2 jalapeno
about 1/2 inch slice of shallot
a small handful of cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime

Spoon out your avocados first. Then squeeze on your lime and add salt to taste. Then chop up your jalapeno, cilantro, and shallot. When I say about a 1/2 inch slice, I mean, take the shallot, estimate about a 1/2 inch worth and make a cut with your knife. Then chop it up small. Add the 3 chopped ingredients and use your spoon to mix together. Your avocados should be soft enough to where the spoon will blend them easily. If they aren't soft enough, wait a day and they will be. If your avocados are ripe and you aren't ready for them, put them in your fridge. They will be good at least another 4 or so days. It took me a year to figure that out, and plenty of bad spolied avocados were wasted in the process.
Do it. Seriously. Bring it to the pool party. Your friends will love you.

I use shallots in other stuff too, like: salad dressings, sauces, chicken and tuna salads and on top of lettuce based salads (specifically wedge salad). My favorite salad dressing with shallots is a creamy, red wine vinegar dressing, as follows:

a couple big spoonfuls of mayo (like the tablespoon from your silverware drawer)
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (actual tablespoon, like from your measuring set)
8 or so tablespoons of olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped up small like
salt and pepper
In a bowl, whisk together the chopped shallot and the vinegar. Add the mayo. Then whisk in the olive oil. I estimate about 8 tablespoons. But do it Rachael Ray like. Just mix it in there till you're satisfied. Add salt and pepper. Then you're done.
I serve this dressing on top of red leaf lettuce. It's fantastical.

Shallots. Just try them. They will change your life.

This public service announcement brought to you by the letter S.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Yes, shallots are turned me on to them. I love to just add a tid bit to my tuna salad and also when a recipe calls for onions sometimes I do a little bit of both. It's just a nice touch! PS....I do guac the same way but I've recently discovered the wonderfulness of adding about 1/2 a clove of garlic all mashed up in it. Soooo good! try it.