Two Easy Toppers: Golden Shallots and Crispy Capers

Crispy Capers

  • So easy to do and great way to use up those jars that sit opened in your fridge.
  • Toss them on so many things or just eat by themselves. Blossoming flavor power packs! Nutty, briny, tad bit o’ bitter
  • Can also be down with some cornmeal for a twist. See this great post over at foodandstyle.com
  • No need for a fryer or big capers either.

Drain a 3- to 4-ounce jar (or how EVER many you want to make) large capers in a sieve. Rinse well under cool tap water to remove excess salt or soak them for a bit. The key is to dry thoroughly on paper towels – remember oil and water don’t mix, they splatter on you. Heat 1/2 to 1 inch canola oil in a skillet or pot on medium high heat. Add the capers and cook for about 30-120 seconds, moving them around gently with a slotted spoon. They should turn a nice light brown. Remove with slotted spoon to drain on paper towels and when cool enough to handle, transfer to a serving bowl and a few to your mouth.

Golden Shallots

  • Easy to do! Hardest part is slicing.
  • A sweet and savory little garnish
  • Add to just about anything. Around Seattle they make appearances on top of Vietnamese dishes at the more she-she-la-la places and now in my home. (See Exhibit 2)
  • Could store them, if any are left over.
  • No need for a fryer

Slice up as many/much shallots as you want. Heat ¼ to ½ inch oil in a skillet or pot (or a wok, as in our photo) on medium high heat. Add the shallots and cook for a couple minutes until golden brown. They turn burnt pretty fast, as evidenced in photos, but all is not lost and they are still quite tasty. Remove with slotted spoon onto paper towels to drain. In our most recent example, we left the oil in wok and make up some stir fried baby Bok Choi.

Do you have a favorite topper that just kicks a dish up on little notch?

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