Sweet and Sour Shallots
Rosemary Barron, presents us with this beautifully simple recipe, sweet and sour shallots, that can be used as garnish or a side dish to accompany a variety of preparations.
24 shallots (about 14 oz)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup dried currants or small seedless dark raisins
2 tbsp honey
1/4 Mavrodaphne, Madeira or port wine
coarse sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
*Mavrodaphne is a sweet red "dessert" wine produced in Greece.
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
1. Neatly trim off the shallot root ends and remove a very thin slice from each stem end. In a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook the shallots for 5 minutes, until just barely tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
2. Choose a heavy, shallow baking dish just large enough to hold the shallots in a single layer. Place the empty dish in the oven.
3. Meanwhile, use a paring knife to remove the shallot skins. Carefully remove the dish from the oven and pour olive oil into it. Add the shallots, turn in the oil to coat, then tuck the bay leaves among them. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and currants in a small bowl. Stir the honey into the currant mixture. Add this sauce and the wines to the shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for another 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until the sauce is syrupy.
*Stir the shallots periodically to baste. If the dish appears dry, add a few tablespoons of water and cover with foil.
5. Transfer the shallots to a serving platter or shallow bowl and pour the sauce and the bay leaves in the dish over them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature.
Recipe from Rosemary Barron's cookbook,Meze: Small Bites, Big Flavors from the Greek Table.