I respect Anthony Bourdain. A lot. If he's on a show, you bet I'd be watching it. I admire his passion and hard work that all circle around food and culture. So when he mentioned, in one of his books, what makes food at restaurants taste different (and better) than home cooked meals is the magic of caramelized shallots, I had to buy a whole sack of shallots the next day and experience what he's talking about.
I made two jars of caramelized shallots and kept them in the fridge. It was added to almost everything I cooked in the past few days. I topped some on a flatbread (with bacon), added some to sausages, and incorporated some in a beef curry. And I must say, I was not once tired of it. I wanted caramelized shallots in everything I put in my mouth!
To build more flavor, I also tossed in a bulk worth of minced garlic into the shallots. Because why the heck not? If you like to eat well but don't like garlic, then you're not doing it right, my friend! The aroma filled my tiny kitchen and apartment quickly when the shallots were getting sweet and garlicky on the cast iron pan.
I was in one very happy place.
If I were to give you advise when making caramelized shallots, I'd suggest not to dice the shallots too small, use lots of olive oil and some butter, don't worry about it getting a little burnt 'cause that's the good stuff (well, that's how I like it)! And use a cast iron pan because it simply does magic.
Caramelize it. Jar it. Get addicted to it!
Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 15 mins Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 2, 14-oz jars
- 20 shallots, diced
- 1 bulk garlic, minced
- About ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a cast iron pan on medium-low heat, add 3 tbsp of olive oil then add minced garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until it becomes fragrant, then push it to the sides.
- Add butter to the pan, and add diced shallots in the center. Sauté until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Incorporate the garlic into the shallots. Stir occasionally, and add olive oil every now and then to avoid shallots sticking to the pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper, to taste.