Shallots are not cheap. However, one shallot can turn ordinary scrambled eggs into a gourmet dish, and if you wait until eggs are on sale, you can afford a shallot. Plus, if you are lucky, you can have the pleasure of identifying your purchase to the clerk who seems puzzled by the odd-looking onion. Ah, snobbery!
Shallots are related to onions, but they have a much milder flavor with a hint of garlic. Mature shallots have a brown papery skin covering their delicate purple and white flesh. I started using them several years ago after reading a gourmet magazine someone left at the cabin.
Here is a recipe to brighten your breakfast table.
3 medium mushrooms (about 2 inches in diameter)
1 medium shallot (about 1 inch in diameter)
3 large eggs
3 T unsalted butter
3 T milk
1/2 tsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash of hot sauce (optional)
2 T sharp cheddar cheese
Black pepper to taste
Clean and thinly slice the mushrooms. Cut the stem and root ends off the shallot, cut the bulb in half lengthwise and peel off the brown outer husk. Slice each half very thinly so you have little half rings.
Melt the butter in a medium-sized frying pan over low heat. Add the mushrooms and raise the heat to medium for two or three minutes, stirring and turning the slices until they just begin to turn golden brown. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the shallots. Allow them to soften while you prepare the eggs. Do not brown the shallots.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl until they are lemon yellow. Beat in the flour, salt and pepper, then stir in the milk and the dash of hot sauce if you like it.
Pour the egg mixture over the mushrooms and shallots and allow it to cook slowly for a minute or so while you grate some cheese. Stir the eggs with a wooden spoon to keep them from burning. When the eggs are nearly done, sprinkle the cheese over the top, cover for a half minute or so and allow the cheese to melt.
Serve with juice, toast or a toasted bagel for a gourmet breakfast.
NOTES: I know, I know, adding flour to scrambled eggs is a no-no. Do it anyway if you add milk to the eggs. The tiny bit of flour keeps the eggs from being watery. For the cheese, a sharp cheddar or Gloucester is my preferred choice, but I have used medium cheddar when nothing else was in the fridge. It works. I even tried Parmesan once. Shall we say there appeared to be a clash of cuisines?