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Gardening Articles: Health :: Cooking

Shallots (page 4 of 4)

by Charlie Nardozzi

Enjoying Shallots

Eating shallots is the best part. To make bulbs easier to peel, drop them in boiling water for about 20 seconds; this also moderates their pungency.

French cooks think of onions and shallots as two separate vegetables, each with a unique flavor. So we asked a French chef, Chef Robert Barral, executive chef at the New England Culinary Institute in Essex, Vermont, for a classic French recipe featuring shallots. Bon appetit!

Grilled New York Steak with Confit of Shallots on Vermont

Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

* Shallot confit and red-wine sauce

  • 3/4 pound shallots
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups veal stock (available in concentrated cubes or powder)

* Mashed potatoes

  • 3 baking potatoes (2 to 3 pounds), peeled and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Vermont cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, warmed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

* Steak

  • 4 1-inch thick New York-cut steaks, trimmed of fat

To make shallot confit: Peel and slice 1/2 pound of the shallots. In a medium saucepan, over low heat, add 1 teaspoon of butter, and saute shallots and brown sugar until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the red wine, and cook until wine is absorbed. Set aside.

To make shallots in red-wine sauce: Peel and chop remaining 1/4 pound of shallots. In a heavy medium-sized saucepan, over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of butter, and saute shallots until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup of red wine, and cook until reduced by one-third, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add veal stock, adjust heat to light boil, and reduce sauce until thick but runny, about 20 minutes. (To test sauce, place a teaspoonful on a plate and tilt; the liquid should move but not run across the plate.)

To make potatoes: In a large pot filled with cold, salted water, add potatoes and heat until boiling. Cook potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and mash potatoes, adding butter, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and cream. Blend until potatoes are soft and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

To make steak: Preheat grill to medium-hot. Season steaks with salt and pepper, and place on grill. Cook until meat is medium-rare, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

To serve, place mashed potatoes in center of plate, spoon red-wine sauce around potatoes, and place steak on top, garnish with shallot confit. Serves 4.

Charlie Nardozzi is a senior horticulturist at National Gardening.

Photography by Sabin Gratz/NationalGardening Association

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