An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


Caramelized Shallots and Aspargus

A few mornings ago my fridge was completely empty of vegetables...which was good because I was leaving on a long weekend trip home to Ohio.  My flight was in the afternoon, which was such a luxury.  I usually take early flights when heading east.  So I was able to make myself a nice meal before heading to the airport...with leftovers to take on the plane.  Ever since I read 'Cooking For Mr. Latte' by Amanda Hesser, my view on plane food has changed.  She takes a gourmet meal with her every time she flies.  So I thought, why not do the same? 

I took a power walk down the street to run some errands, and popped into the grocery for asparagus and a bottle of ginger Kombucha tea.  All the other ingredients were waiting for me at home.  It was one of those days that I felt like I had all the hours in the world to get ready, and then once I got home from the grocery, I was a frantic tornado in my apartment...flipping an egg, caramelizing shallots, packing the last minute charging cords into my suitcase, checking my flight status (which was delayed), and watering my plants.  I whipped up the asparagus, ate, packaged the rest in a plastic container for the plane and ran. 

Caramelized Shallots and Asparagus
Yields 2 servings

This is a super simple way to fancy up your vegetables, whether you have fifteen minutes or two hours.  If you have a shallot or onion laying around needing attention, pull out the brown sugar and get caramelizing.

1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, very thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1 level Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 bunch asparagus, chopped into small eraser-sized pieces
Additional splash of olive oil

Heat a medium saute pan on medium heat.  Pour in the olive oil and allow to heat up.  Drop in the shallots.  Cook for a good 10 minutes until they become nice and relaxed, fully cooked and browned.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute for another minute.  Add in the brown sugar and stir to coat each piece and allow the sugar to melt.  Splash in the balsamic and stir quickly (it may get really steamy for a few seconds depending on the heat of the pan).  Scoop the shallots out of pan and onto a separate plate. 

Plop the asparagus into the same pan and stir in a little extra olive oil to release any of the leftover sugars in the bottom.  Cook the asparagus for 3-5 minutes, adding in salt and pepper to taste.  Turn off heat and stir in the caramelized shallots.  Serve as a side to an omelet and toast or at dinner with baked chicken and wild rice.

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