Shallots glazed with red wine from Special food, what they are and how to consume them
Shallots glazed with red wine are a delicious idea for a simple side dish to prepare, but able to amaze from all points of view: aesthetics, taste and balance. Let's be clear, it is still a rustic side dish, given the ingredients at stake, but still able to embody the spirit of the Italian culinary tradition and to honour one of the most underrated and probably misunderstood ingredients of our gastronomic culture, shallots precisely.
Why are glazed shallots an excellent side dish? First of all, because they represent a reinterpretation of the shallot itself, which in this case is not limited to acting as a "saucepan material" but rather becomes the main ingredient of a course. Secondly, because it is a balanced side dish, which performs exactly the functions that a side dish should exercise: it temporarily reduces the sense of hunger, rewards the taste, opens the way to a much more substantial first and second course.
And then it is a low-calorie side dish, at least compared to other heavier side dishes such as those based on cold cuts and cheese, which, among other things, loudly call the consumption of bread. Shallots glazed with red wine do not bring excessive amounts of calories, indeed these are mostly provided by butter, the presence of which is however barely mentioned, and by the wine used in the nuance phase. For the rest, there is nothing that can make you think of a calorie flow (even the oil is missing, replaced precisely by butter).
Shallot, an underrated food
You will hear a lot about shallots, especially among those who hang out in the kitchen more or less professionally. Indeed, for some time it has been proposed as a substitute for onion, an alternative to be preferred. However, the boundary between conscious use of shallots and simple "use" for fashion is unclear. In reality, the shallot has its own precise identity and has some important differences with the onion, so much so that its use should be preferred to that of the onion, especially if the goal is to make a sauté properly.
Specifically, the shallot offers a much more delicate, more aromatic flavour, stronger than some hints of garlic. Furthermore, being less heavy, it does not impact much on the breath. The onion is more pungent, heavier from all points of view, therefore it should only be used in the case of sautéed dishes for which you want a strong flavour. It is obvious that for this specific recipe, which transforms the bulb from seasoning to the main ingredient, the lighter variant, namely shallot, should be used.
Among other things, the taste of the shallot is however mitigated by the presence of the other ingredients, primarily from butter, which represents the basis for the sauté and which offers a softer approach than oil. Secondly, red wine, which we will discuss more in the next paragraph.
The particular role of red wine
Red wine plays a fundamental role in the recipe for glazed shallots. This can be seen above all from the list of ingredients, which requires the use of 100 ml, a significant quantity equivalent to just under a glass. Secondly because red wine, regardless of the variety, heavily affects any dish. It does it from the point of view of flavour, of course, but also in terms of the balance between flavours. Not surprisingly, it is used to blend, therefore to dampen the heaviest and especially pungent or acidic, hints of some ingredients. Well, red wine works exactly for this purpose in the recipe of glazed shallots.
The purpose of red wine is to dampen the taste of the shallot, which although lighter than the onion remains strong. Obviously, he is responsible for the thin glaze that forms to cover the shallot, and which determines a very particular visual impact. Finally, it also acts and above all in terms of taste. Despite being used mainly for the nuance, the hints of the wine remain and give significant aromatic power to the shallot. For these and other reasons, red wine glazed shallots are a simple but special side dish, capable of enhancing, in fact by anticipating them, the best meals.
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Here is the recipe for red wine glazed shallots
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 1/2 kg. of small shallots;
- 100 m.l of full-bodied red wine;
- 30 g clarified butter;
- 1 clove of garlic;
- Salt to taste.
Remove the peel from the shallots and garlic clove. In a pan where you have melted the butter, first, brown the garlic clove, then lightly fry the shallot (on low heat) for about five minutes.Pour in the red wine and, once evaporated, cover the pan and continue cooking for about half an hour, always on low heat. When the cooking is finished, season with salt and pepper. Let stand for a couple of minutes and serve.
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