Two words for you: fried shallots.
They are crispy, salty, savory, and akin to those French’s Crispy Onions, but they’re just fried shallots with a little bit of salt. They can be used just about about any way you’d normally use French’s, but are also used in many Vietnamese recipes (like as a topping on Pho… YUM!). And they can be made ahead — one of two days before you’re going to use them. They add a crispy crunch to whatever you serve with them!
In this case, broccolini and mushrooms get the special treatment. After being sautéd, They’re topped with a generous amount of crispy shallots. It’s a fun way to make something so simple (sautéd broccolini) feel special — special enough to be a side dish at a holiday meal, or topped with a poached egg for breakfast 😍 …runny yolk and fried shallot is a particularly great combo.
With Winter Solstice tomorrow, it felt good to eat something earthy and fresh between all of the holiday cookies. 🌎 Happy Solstice!
So how do you make those little golden rings? It’s not too difficult, and once you’ve done it once you’ll be pro. Here are a few tips:
Slice two shallots extra thin.
Use an oil with a high smoke point. I used avocado oil, which has a fairly high smoke point — 520°F, far below what we’ll need here. Avoid olive oil.
Use an instant read thermometer to monitor the temperature of your oil. In this case, using a thermometer makes it way easier to get timing right!
You can drain fried shallots on a plate stacked with paper towels, but we don’t keep paper towels in the house. Imstead, I place a fine mesh sieve over a heat-proof bowl or pot. Works great, less waste!
Salt immediately. With all fried food, salting right after frying helps the salt stick to the food, so salt those shallots up! A few sprinkles will do. Toss them gently to coat.
Making fried shallots ahead of time: This can be very helpful, especially if you plan to already be at the stove earlier in the week. Plan ahead, and you’ll be glad. Store fried, cooled shallots in an air-tight container in the fridge (let them cool completely, so that no steam is trapped in the container — that will make for soggy shallots). You can store them in the fridge for two days, though the shallots are really best used right after they are fried or the next day. If they feel a little soft when you go to use them, you can toast them in a oven or toaster oven for 10 minutes at 350°F, and then leave them to cool again (they will at first feel even softer when heated, and then will crisp up again as they cool).
Yield: 4 | Active Time: 40 minutes
- Place a fine mesh sieve over a heat-proof bowl or pot. Set aside for later use.
- Heat oil in a skillet. Use an instant read thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil. When the oil reach 275°F, carefully add shallots to the oil. Shallots will slowly turn from pink-white to yellow-brown. Stir occasionally. When the oil temperature reaches 375°F, wait 5 more seconds. Then, use a slotted spoon to transfer shallots from oil to prepared sieve. Sprinkle salt over shallots and toss to coat (1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon). Allow shallots to continue to cool in sieve.
- Sauté mushrooms & broccolini: heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once oil glistens, add sliced mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, and stir. Add broccolini, and place lid on pan. After about 5 minutes, stir again, and then return lid to pan, cooking until broccolini is bright green and tender through.
- Transfer cooked broccolini and mushrooms to a serving dish, and top with fried shallots. Season to taste with salt & black pepper.
- Serving suggestion: Serve this as a dinner side, and top with freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano, or for breakfast, topped with a poached egg.