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August 28, 2011 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Interesting ways to preserve and/or freeze shallots for use over the winter?

Through absolutely zero skill of my own, I successfully grew 40+ shallots this summer. A little too successfully, as every single one of them flowered. As a result, they apparently won't keep over the winter. I'm looking for interesting ways to cook and/or freeze them for use over the coming months, as shallots can be hard to come by where I live*.

I'm pretty sure I can mince them and pack them into ice cube trays uncooked for freezing, and then store the resulting "cubes" in a freezer bag for dropping into recipes for cooking, but what else can I do with them? I understand that there's probably no way to preserve them that will keep their texture, and that's okay-- I just want to find a way to preserve (or enhance) their flavor so that I can cook with them over the coming long winter.


*I'm in a very remote town with spotty produce selection, up near the 60th parallel, which is also why the shallots grew crazy fast-- we get 18+ hours of intense sunlight/day for most of the summer.
posted by mireille to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Shallot butter
posted by gumtree at 8:26 AM on August 28, 2011

If you can get some fresh parsley, and you have a food processor, you could make a whole bunch of chimichurri and freeze that. I use the recipe from the cookbook Appetite for Reduction, which uses parsley and oregano, but I think you can do it with whatever herbs you have around.
posted by Tesseractive at 8:37 AM on August 28, 2011

pickle them!
posted by bunderful at 8:50 AM on August 28, 2011

Last summer I chopped up a lot of shallots and sauteed them in butter, and froze them in those little 'snack size' zip-lock bags, flattened. They were still tasty nearly a year later, and of course very easy to use.
posted by kmennie at 8:53 AM on August 28, 2011

shallot jam
posted by matrushka at 9:26 AM on August 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

You could try roasting them or cooking them till a rich roasted brown - and then freezing them. I saw this on the internet - so it must be true:

Cooked Onions are a great freezer standby. Put leftover cooked onions into a pan and sauté until they are a rich, golden brown, then freeze in an ice-cube tray. Pop out the cubes and put into a bag, ready to pull out and stick straight into a pan as the basis for a stew
posted by helmutdog at 9:34 AM on August 28, 2011

David Lebovitz's shallot and beer marmalade
posted by neroli at 9:59 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Love all of these so far-- planning to devote a Sunday (and a heavy investment in butter!) to all of them soon. The chimichurri one is neat because there are so many variations- I even found one that uses my favorite herb in all the world and which is currently part of my herb-pot collection: thai basil!

I did forgot to mention a major detail, though-- can't use alcohol in recipes as I'm 4 years sober.

More recipes and ideas are very much welcome!
posted by mireille at 10:07 AM on August 28, 2011

Deep fried, crispy pieces of shallots are often added to things like curry laksa soup. They're handy in other things, too. Just slice them and deep fry them at a low temperature until they're brown, then drain them on a paper towel. It might be an idea to freeze them and crisp them up again before serving if you plan on keeping them for a long time.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:58 PM on August 28, 2011

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