These Paleo Crispy Shallots are “fried” to a golden brown, with nothing but fat and a little salt, and are the perfect topping for seafood or burgers. I’ve always thought that to get crispy, crunchy, golden shallots, you have to use a starch or flour to coat them, but I was definitely wrong about that! In reality, they’ll crisp up and brown on their own if you cook them right. The key is to take your time and constantly move them. And that’s it. They go so well with so many different dishes and can really give a nice crunchy contrast to veggies and meats. I know, it should be something everyone knows, but I’ve found that a lot of cooking is what you’ve grown up with and shallots were not on the menu at my house, so…sharing the knowledge so you can hopefully avoid all of my silly mistakes! …like flouring them…and overcooking them to a burnt crisp.
This week is a pretty exciting week. It’s my second to last week of full time work at McKesson, which I’ve been working at for almost 10 years (eek!). It’s amazing how you can go from really wanting a change in life to really being afraid of it. I know I shouldn’t be, but I can’t help it, I feel like a nervous wreck! I’ve been so lucky to have a job that has evolved with me, but now that we’re in Nashville, it’s time to move on and find something new. I keep telling myself that I’ll find something equally awesome, but in reality, that’s going to be a tough sell. I’ve had a couple of really amazing bosses turned friends and been able to hire almost all of my own staff, also turned friends. As happy as I am to move on to something new, there’s a piece of me that is really sad to see it actually end. I think it’s a rare thing to be able to work with people that you really enjoy and I’m hoping the next thing will afford me that luxury as well. What is that they say about a closed door and an open window? Right now, I feel like I keep hitting my face on the glass, but I’m going to keep trying until I figure out the next big thing! …until then, you can find me in the kitchen.
Paleo Crispy Shallots
½ Tbsp Pork Fat
½ tsp Paleo Adobo Seasoning
This recipe is loosely measured, as you can make as much as you want with these ingredients. Just remember that how much you can spread them out does make a difference.
To make golden brown, crispy paleo shallots to top burgers, casseroles and seafoods, first you want to peel the outer layer from the shallots and cut off the butts (root end).
THIS PART IS IMPORTANT and it makes a BIG difference. You want your shallots to be as evenly sliced as possible. If some of the shallots are thin and some are thick, you’ll be fishing out the thin rings as they darken and the larger pieces will still need time. This is a menace if you’re trying to cook more than 1 thing at a time (which we usually are!). Sometimes, I do this on purpose for textural/flavor profile variety, but if you just want crispy, evenly golden shallots, even slicing is imperative. If you don’t ensure even slicing, you’ll end up with some shallots that are perfectly golden and crunchy and some that are burnt to a crisp and bitter. No bueno.
I shoot for 1/8” thick, but in reality, as long as the slices are even, you can cut them whatever thickness you want – the thicker the cut, the longer they take to cook. A very sharp sushi knife and a steady hand will work just fine, but a mandoline will guarantee that your slices will be even and uniform. It is highly recommended. We actually received ours as a wedding gift and like it so much, we’re capturing our thoughts in a post coming soon, Products That Make Life Easier, The OXO Mandoline Slicer, in case you’re thinking about getting one and aren’t sure which ones actually work.
Dust them lightly with our Paleo Adobo Seasoning – it’s a salt that has our favorite blend of spices and is can be used on everything from vegetables to fish and meats. We make it in bulk and use it for many of our recipes as a base. If you don’t have it or don’t want it, just substitute with sea salt and go easy on it…you don’t want them to be too salty, and the fat will contribute to their flavor/saltiness as well.
Heat a large pan over medium (~5) heat and add the fat. The goal is to get a pan that allows the most spread for the shallots. The more bunched up they are, the less even they cook and then we’re back to burnt pieces, but now they’re burnt AND stuck together. Blech. You could fry them too, but I am not a fan of actual frying, so keep that in mind as an option if you’re comfortable with that.
Once the fat is hot, add the shallots and just keep moving them around occasionally so they cook evenly. Don’t turn up the heat, we want a medium, leisurely cook. This allows the shallots to brown into a nice, sweetness and keeps them from becoming bitter, which is a common side effect of cooking at too high a temperature. It also allows you to cook more than one thing at a time…win win.
Once the shallots are golden, remove them from the pan and let them drain on a paper towel until you’re ready to use them. AND THAT IS IT! See, easy, right?!
I really like these as a garnish for recipes that need a texture contrast or a little spark of flavor and salt. Some of my favorites are atop eggs, burgers, salads, seafoods, like our Paleo Citrus Ginger Sea Scallops.
This recipe can easily be made Vegan, just swap the pork fat with a vegetable-based fat like olive oil.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 6-8 minutes
Makes about 1 cup