some year, i swear, i will take decent photos after the fish course. it just never seems to go as planned.
so, let me make it up to you:
cute catz wishing you happy holidays
holiday disco ballz
crispy fried shallots (oh what the hell…shallotz)
these are the crème de la crème of our holiday danish smørrebrød, if you ask me (and many others at my table it would seem, by the rate at which they disappeared behind chomping, smiling holiday teeth).
but scattering them atop an artfully assembled danish open sandwich is just the tip of the fjord. because these crispy fried shallots make everything better. in fact, they are quite commonly strewn across all manner of indonesian dishes. those spicy, coconut-broth based soups and curries are the perfect match.
i make these and keep ‘em around to add a bit of deeply flavored crunch (and umami) to just about anything; pastas, soups, sandwiches, egg dishes. i really cannot think of a savory dish that would not be made better by a dusting of these.
you will need:
1 pound (or more*) shallots, or onions
flavorless high-heat vegetable oil
a wide bodied shallow pan, at least 9 inches in diameter
2 plates, and some paper towels
1. peel and slice shallots; cut into barely 1/8th inch slices crosswise. meaning, your slivers will be rings, or half rings. if using onions, slice them in half lengthwise first and then across for half rings.
2. fill your shallow pan with oil up to a solid 1/8th of an inch and warm on medium. as the oil is warming, place a double layer of paper towels on two plates.
3. when the oil is heated, add shallots. stir and fry until they just begin to brown on the edges – about 10 minutes. turn heat down to medium low and continue to stir and fry – they should get golden all over within another 3-5 minutes. turn the heat to low and keep stirring and frying until they are browned all over. this will take another 3 or so minutes.
4. once all or most of the shallots are brown (but not burnt!) take off the heat and lift them out with a slotted spoon. take care to leave as much of the oil as you can in the pan. spread shallots in a single layer on one of the paper towel covered plates. after 3 minutes transfer to the other plate and spread once again in a single layer.
5. let cool completely and transfer to a glass jar with tight fitting lid.
make a big batch, ’cause you can keep them in a jar on your larder shelf for a good 2-3 weeks or more. that is, of course, if you don’t crunchy-munch them all up in one go. which you probably will.
*i make a lot at once, 2-3 pounds of shallots usually. if you up the ante, make sure your frying pan is big enough so that they are more-or-less in a single layer when first put into the pan. increase the plate and paper towel combo too. you’ll need two dinner-sized plates with two layers of paper towels for each pound of shallots.