Sweating - Braising - Frying

Shallots have a high sugar content so tend to catch and burn quickly in a frying pan. Make sure that the oil or butter used for cooking in the pan is not too hot. Move the pan around often when frying and regularly stir and turn the shallots. Stir frying is a great way to prepare shallots as the ingredients are constantly tossed during cooking. Add the shallots as one of the last ingredients to the wok.

Sweating: this method is often used to prepare vegetables. 

Step 1:
blanch the vegetables (e.g. french or runner beans, carrots and courgettes) and rins with cold water. 
Step 2: gently fry the chopped shallot in a little butter, so that it cooks without browning (too dark = bitter).
Step 3: add the prepared vegetables. Stir or shake the pan until the liquid has evaporated. As the shallot has been allowed to sweat first, the sharpness has been removed so the shallot now enhances the flavour of the vegetables.


Braising means gently frying the shallot, then adding a cooking liquid. Braising removes most of the sharpness from the shallot while retaining its flavour.
 
Step 1: heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan.
Step 2: add the shallot and keep it moving in the pan to prevent burning. After about half a minute add some cooking liquid (for example stock or wine). This method can be used in making sauces.


To fry shallots, heat some oil or butter in a frying pan. Add the shallots and fry for a few minutes