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Tricks for peeling shallots?


lorea
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Are there any tricks for peeling shallots? Those little buggers drive me crazy! I've tried using "tricks" for garlic - smashing them (I just end up with a squashed shallot with the skin still on), rolling it in those little tubes (I end up with a rolled-up shallot), but I can't figure out if there's a good way for peeling shallots. Any tips?

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Patience is the best trick I know. :wink:

I've never tried blanching them, but it seems like it might work. Works for pearl onions. If you're wanting raw shallots, this obviously wouldn't be the way to go. If they're going to be cooked, though, it would be worth a try.

amanda

Googlista

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Please let there be a good answer from some miracle worker out there for this.....

Shallots are tasty, but they are a pain to peel. I inevitably wait until the pan is on the fire and I'm in the middle of cooking. "Oh, right, chopped shallot!"

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I cut off the root end and then just kinda score them "length" wise with a paring knife and peel. I might be wasting a layer of the good part, but, it isn't much of a hassle.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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I'm reading the thread, and I see there are ten others doing the same. We're all looking for the silver bullet I guess. But I just do what some others have already posted - peel away the outer layer.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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Are there any tricks for peeling shallots? Those little buggers drive me crazy!

Buy bigger buggers. :raz: Seriously...buy them loose, not in those tiny little boxes, and just select ones you think will be easiest for your hands to work with size-wise. I personally buy them the largest I can find, and have no trouble with them; peeling off the skin with a small knife as I would from an onion.

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Do the shallots first and every thing else will seem easy.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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I cut off the root end and then just kinda score them "length" wise with a paring knife and peel. I might be wasting a layer of the good part, but, it isn't much of a hassle.

yup, i do that too.

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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buy them by the 5lb jar already peeled.

hth, danny

No way, dude! :shock: That's like buying garlic in a jar. The preservative aspect and loss of flavor would completely defeat the point. There is no substitute for fresh shallots and garlic.

And I do what everyone else does: treat them like onions (score and peel the outer wrapper). I've never had a moment's trouble with them.

On the other hand, the thought of making a salad and assembling all the ingredients is completely daunting to me. I just don't have the salad gene. :sad:

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It's easier to peel shallots (and onions too) if you cut them in half first - lengthwise. I've been told that this is not recommended as there could be pathogens - or at least some dirt - on the skin, but I figure I'm cooking the buggers anyway. (Does anybody out there think this is enough of a concern to worry about?)

If I'm not in a hurry (ha!) I don't cut 'em in half. Otherwise I do.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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I cut off the root end and then just kinda score them "length" wise with a paring knife and peel. I might be wasting a layer of the good part, but, it isn't much of a hassle.

This is what I do, too.

Bruce

me too. and it's funny, really, to notice how the skin seems almost glued to the onion right up to the moment you've gently scored it. then suddenly it comes loose very easily. i think the reason must be that the scoring de-stresses the skin.

christianh@geol.ku.dk. just in case.

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Keep the raw and the peeled shallots under water to keep the eye-watering down.

The chemical in onions and shallots that brings tears to the eyes dissolves easily in water, including the water in your eye, so keeping everything wet, and having a tap running nearby helps...

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The soaking-in-water trick certainly works for garlic -- I've seen prep guys do 1/2 a case in no time flat.

Five-pound jars of pre-peeled shallots and garlic have no preservatives. If you can use that much before they go moldy, go for it. Besides, then you have a great storage jar when it's empty. :biggrin:

But yeah, bigger shallots -- especially the torpedo-shape -- are easier to peel than little ones.

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[No way, dude! That's like buying garlic in a jar. The preservative aspect and loss of flavor would completely defeat the point. There is no substitute for fresh shallots and garlic.]

Yeah, i used to think the same way but it sure doesn't bother me now :). Also i can buy a jar of peeled shallot for $6-7 or spend $2-3/lb for whole. Any leftover shallot i roast and freeze-they will keep a few months this way. And i definately buy peeled garlic if using in quantity, garlic "confit"etc...Like Suzanne said empty jars make great containers.

hth, danny

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But yeah, bigger shallots -- especially the torpedo-shape -- are easier to peel than little ones.

Trouble is the bigger ones are also the least tasty. Recently I've seen a lot of these huge "shallots" (especially at wholefoods) that seem to me to taste more like onions, and they aren't even pink on the inside. :wacko:

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I cut off the root end and then just kinda score them "length" wise with a paring knife and peel. I might be wasting a layer of the good part, but, it isn't much of a hassle.

This is what I do, too.

Bruce

me too.

ditto

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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The first time I stepped in the French Laundry was back when I was peddling All-Clad pans, about 6-7 years ago. Thomas Keller was in the kitchen, hunched over a pile of shallots, peeling and slicing them. He was using a thin slicing knife, about 6 inches long, not a big chef’s knife. This is what I learned watching him do it.

Drop your heavy clunky German chef knife and pick up a thin bladed slicing or paring knife. Thick bladed knives, besides being a bit unwieldy, will tend to wedge the shallot apart when you are trying to slice/dice it. If you are after a very fine dice or thin slices, a thin bladed knife (I use a Global) works best.

Cut the very tip of the shallot, the pointed end opposite the root, off. Keeping the root end attached helps hold the shallot together when you are slicing it.

Make a thin slice the length of the shallot, running perpendicular to the root end.

Holding the shallot in your left hand, use your knife (in your right hand) to scrape the peel a bit, and then using your thumb, grip the peel between the blade of your knife, and slowly pull it off, bit by bit.

Depending on the size of your now peeled shallot, you can slice or dice using the same technique you would use for onions.

If I have a big shallot, I’ll slice it half, making sure to cut through half of the root end, which helps hold it together, and then proceed to slice or dice it, with the flat end laying on the cutting board, this keeps it from rolling around. I try to hold the shallot together on the sides too, while slicing through it, to also keep it from falling apart.

I still remember Thomas Keller perfectly peeling and slicing each shallot, taking his time and handling them as though they were something precious, like black truffles. To this day, even though I may hack through a couple onions or carrots, I always stop and take my time with shallots and try to slice/dice them perfectly, my small homage to the French Laundry perfectionist…

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