Strangely enough, I think I'm developing an allergy to alliums. Well... the two alliums I allow in my home: garlic and shallots. Not the kind of allergy where vital parts of my anatomy stop working or my noggin swells up and I can't see or breathe. Nothing quite so severe. Still, I think I have at least some small reaction that appears to be consistent with the use of those two things (and believe me, it is a rare night indeed that finds me preparing dinner without garlic!).
Although I love garlic and find shallots an acceptable substitute for onions (picture me wrinkling my nose while I say that), every time I cut one of either open, I find myself sneezing in the kitchen. We'll push aside any ideas of how sanitary that may or may not be to focus on the tragedy. What if I actually develop a full-blown allergy to garlic?? OMG! Life (or at least dinner) as we know it would cease and poor Mister... oh, poor Mister. He already has to deal with my fear and loathing of cayenne pepper severely dampening any opportunity to eat "hot" food at home and I've long since banned onions for their stench and nasty texture. If I stopped cooking with garlic, I think he might leave me.
Heck. I think I might leave me.
Nevertheless, I have shallot breath. Considering myself victorious for only sneezing once through the chopping of 3 shallots tonight, I heated a generous portion of olive oil in my trusty All-Clad sauteuse. Upon adding the shallots, I stirred and waited.... as they sizzled and melted and stunk up the whole apartment (granted, it doesn't take much), Mister followed his snuffling nose out of his work-room and into the kitchen. I think the Stinktastic Shallots Sizzling part is his favorite part of dinner - possibly more favorite than even eating it.
I regret I have no pictures, especially because our Aloo Mattar from La Dolce Vegan looked as great as it tasted, but the final product was very pleasing and even though I have shallot breath, I have to admit they really do add to the flavor.
A few notes if any of you folks reading are fortunate enough to own La Dolce Vegan or have asked Santa to drop it down the chimney for you (there's still time! he hasn't left yet!):
- I doubled the recipe so we'd have some leftovers to eat for lunch, but I found that I needed to add a full cup of vegetable broth (vs 1/4c) to keep the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of my pan. This is usually the case for me and potato curry recipes. I feel like it's likely that the authors intend the potatoes to sear on the bottom, rather than just get cooked to mushy perfection, but since I'm not working with nonstick cookware now, I'd rather have a brothier curry - besides, the starch in the potatoes squishes out (or something far more scientific) and causes the broth to become a thick sauce rather quickly.
- When doubling the paprika, I decided to add a little some'in some'in so I did half regular paprika and half smoked paprika and I think that made a huge difference in the flavor. I will definitely do that again.
- I did not double the garam masala, but I was "generous" with the prescribed amount. I should have doubled it.
I have to go take care of this shallot breath.
And blow my nose.