I remember quite clearly the episode of Barefoot Contessa in which Ina makes these. She is there, as always, in her rambling white kitchen with her oh-so shiny bob and sharp button down with a gleaming All-Clad sauté pan going on about these caramelized shallots. All though, to be fair, Ina doesn’t really go on, she simply declares something “fabulous” in that calming voice of hers and instantly I want it, even before Jeffrey or her natty florist can concur.
But I go through life collecting recipes, imagining the ideal scenario in which this delight will be cooked, and in reality, eating a lot of beans and rice. Sometimes it takes a second push for a recipe to edge its nose into my sightline. This time, I have Deb to thank, who made Ina’s caramelized shallots and deemed them a “frighteningly good recipe.“
All I have to show for the weekend are these shallots. They are, indeed, frighteningly good. And as I was peeling one purple skin after another, I channeled my best happily relaxed Ina impression, listening to my new favorite “music to cook to” record. The best days of reality are when fantasy shows up, totally unexpectedly.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound fresh shallots, peeled, with roots intact
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
1 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a 12-inch ovenproof saute pan, add the shallots and
sugar, and toss to coat. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, tossing
occasionally, until the shallots start to brown. Add the vinegar, salt,
and pepper and toss well.
Place the saute pan in the oven and roast for 15 to 30 minutes,
depending on the size of the shallots, until they are tender. Season,
to taste, sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot.