4 Ways With Shallots


4 Ways With Shallots
South-East Asian and European cuisines wouldn’t be what they are today if it wasn’t for the ‘everyday onion’. Discover why with these decadent sauces.

Sweet and Sour Shallot Sauce

Serve with Grilled Fish or Prawns

Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a small frying pan. Fry 6 finely diced Thai (also called red shallots) or long shallots (also called banana shallots) for 4-5 minutes or until crisp and browned. Remove with slotted spoon. Add 2 large, finely chopped garlic cloves. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until begins to turn brown. Remove with spoon. Discard most of the oil. Return 1/2 the shallots along with garlic, 2-4 finely diced red chillies, 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce, 1tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1/4 cup vegetable, chicken or fish stock. Stir until sugar dissolves. Stir through remaining shallots. Serve warm. Makes 3/4 cup.


Beurre Rouge

Serve with Salmon

Place 75ml red wine vinegar, 50ml red wine and 4 finely diced French shallots in a small stainless steel saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper. Bring to a fast boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most liquid has evaporated and shallots break down. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, then return to a low heat. Cut 225g cold unsalted butter into cubes. Add a cube and whisk vigorously until no trace of butter. Whisk in remaining butter, piece by piece, and when incorporated, adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Serve warm. Makes ¾ cup.


Simple Shallot Sauce

Serve as a Chicken Gravy or with Steak or Roast Vegetables

Place 4 diced French shallots and 4 tbsp white wine vinegar or white wine in a small saucepan. Boil until almost evaporated. Add 2 tbsp (40g) butter and when melted, stir in 2 tbsp flour. Slowly incorporate 275ml chicken stock, whisking to avoid lumps. Continue whisking as it comes up to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Season, remove from heat, then stir in a large knob of butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley. Serve warm. Makes 1 cup.


Bearnaise Sauce

Serve with Fish or Poultry

Heat 1 small, finely diced French shallot, ½ tsp tarragon and 1 tsp butter in a small stainless steel saucepan until lightly golden. To deglaze pan, pour in ¼ cup white wine and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Bring some water to the boil in a double boiler pan. Pour 2 egg yolks and 1 tsp water into top of boiler pan. Whisk until thick. Gradually add 150g cubed cold butter, whisking constantly, until thick and glossy. Stir through cooled shallot mixture, along with 1 tsp white wine vinegar. Season well. Serve warm. Makes about 1½ cups.


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