OK so today I’m going to cheat a bit for my Thursday Kitchen Cupboard post. But I’ve got a cold and I’ve had a busy week, the highlight of which was an evening at the Australian Open. Lets go Lleyton, Lets go….and go he did straight out of the tournament – still he did a lot better than expected. But I digress, my cheating is that today I’m not really posting a recipe – well it is a recipe but only of sorts, you see it only has two ingredients: Shallots & Oil, in my case sunflower oil.
I harvested quite a lot of shallots this year and as, Charmaine Sollomon (I think it was her) says; making Crispy Fried Shallots is like putting money in the bank. I particularly like that concept and when you think about it its pretty true of all preserving – you are saving for a rainy day, or a wintery one anyway.
To make Crispy Fried Shallots:
Peel and slice the shallots. I find they work best if the slices are about 3mm wide. You want the shallots to be sliced as evenly as possible to ensure they all cook at the same rate.
Heat enough oil (I like using sunflower oil for these) to cover the base of a pan with about 1-2cm of oil. You want the pan to be big enough to hold the shallots in a single layer across its base.
Fry the shallots until they go a deep golden brown (as in the picture below) I find they sometimes brown a bit more after being removed from the pan. Remove from the oil and drain on Kitchen Paper. You need to spread them out to drain otherwise they tend to stick together.
Once cool they can be stored in a sterilised airtight jar and used in a range of dishes. Any that look a bit undercooked I eat immediately rather than storing. I use them in fried rice, gado gado, curries, kedgeree, soups etc etc. My kids (and me occasionally) are happy just eating them straight from the jar.
I have to admit being a bit confused as to how long they keep for. I’ve certainly happily eaten them weeks after they have been made. My mum’s seem to keep for months in an air tight jar in the cupboard. I keep mine in airtight jar in the fridge (there’s more room in my fridge than there is the cupboard) and they last a good few weeks at the very least. They are sold unrefrigerated in Asian grocers. But most of the advice on the internet suggests they only last for a much shorter period – a matter of days. Personally I’m not sure what there is in them that could go bad – the cooking removes the water content of the shallot hence the crispiness so all that’s left is oil and dry shallot. I’d be interested to know what people think.
To see what others are making this week head on over to the Gardener of Eden for Thursday Kitchen Cupboard.