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Any experience with dehydrating shallots or onions? Or any ideas what to do with A LOT of onions/ shallots?

n
nerdette Sep 16, 2011 06:52 PM

I got a bumper crop of onions and shallots, and I've been trying to come up with ideas how to use them up. Of course, they keep well, and I use them fresh or cooked quite frequently, but I still have almost 200 shallots and 150 onions left, so I'd like to do something with at lest some of them.

I have a 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator, so I've been thinking about dehydrating some of them, but I've had really mixed experiences with the dehydrator, from fantastic (apples), to horrid (peppers) .
Does anybody have a tried and true method for dehydrating onions and shallots?

I've also been toying with the idea of making onion jam or some kind of shallot jam, so I'm open to other ideas as well. Thanks in advance.

  1. Richelle Sep 16, 2011 08:17 PM

    Hi there!
    I would freeze them, either blanching them beforehand or not.

    1. weezieduzzit Sep 16, 2011 08:31 PM

      I absolutely love the onion marmalade from the blog My Husband Cooks. I made a huge batch and gifted a lot of it last Christmas. It was a big hit.

      1. n
        ninrn Sep 16, 2011 08:49 PM

        Onions dehydrate very well. You can even do big batches in a regular oven.

        I would caramelize some too, very slowly in butter and olive oil, until they are brown and potato-chip crunchy (takes about 1.5 hours). Such a nice thing to have on hand, uses a lot of onions, and they keep nicely in an airtight container in the fridge.

        Shallots are a key ingredient in most Thai curry pastes, which also keep nicely. If you like Thai food, maybe you could put up some of that, too.

        1. LaureltQ Sep 16, 2011 09:15 PM

          French onion soup! Julia will guide the way. Don't skimp on the wine and be sure to use homemade beef stock. Freezes beautifully, and remember, onions are great for your cholesterol!

          Also, regular old caramelized onions freeze wonderfully and you can make epic caramelized onion chip dip with creme fraiche and sour cream.

          1. Hank Hanover Sep 17, 2011 07:14 AM

            You could certainly dehydrate them but I would freeze them in single serving sizes. Put them in sandwich bags. Expel all the air and roll them up and put them in a ziplock bag and into the freezer. Then you won't have to break off a piece from a big chunk.

            1. Novelli Sep 17, 2011 09:32 AM

              Every year when I grow onions (and garlic), after curing them outside, I braid them and hang them around my dark pantry. Cut one off the braid when you need it. Should last very well until next spring.

              Otherwise, chop them up, and store in gallon bags in the freezer.

              1. chefathome Sep 18, 2011 02:34 PM

                Caramelized onion jam. I also like thinly slicing shallots and frying briefly until crisp. Great sprinkled on proteins, mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, etc.

                I also make various savoury relishes with onions and/or shallots including nectarine and pear.

                How about French Onion Soup? I also like to roast tomatoes, garlic cloves and red peppers with chunks of onion and simply puree for soup.

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