Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Gentleman Bachelor: Shallots

We here at the Peach Basket all have been down the lonely road of bachelorhood. Some of us still tread it. As a service to our bachelor brethren, we would like to offer some tips on how to channel your inner Felix Unger. Much of the advice we offer here may sound gay to the uninitiated. It probably is. You know why? WOMEN LOVE GAY MEN. We promise that none of our advice will lead you down a leather-clad path of assless chaps, full body waxing or Will and Grace box sets. We just think every hombre needs a little homo in him. (OK, that was gay.)

I’m assuming a lot here, bachelor pal o’ mine. Like that you can cook. If you can’t, stop reading, learn, then come back. Need a reason? Here are three:
  • Cooking for the ladies is a lot cheaper than taking them out to dinner. Even Red Lobster.
  • Cooking for the ladies puts them in your house, or, just as good, it puts you at her house. Either way, you are much closer to a bedroom by several orders of magnitude.
  • If you know how to cook, you can use shallots, Mother Nature's oniontastic aphrodisiac.
What is a shallot? According to the Random House Dictionary, a shallot is:
a plant, Allium cepa aggregatum (or A. ascalonicum), related to the onion, having a divided bulb used for flavoring in cookery.
Knowing this will not help you. It has been at least one millennium since Latin helped anyone advance his carnal cause (original Romantic language, my ass). Allow me to edumucate you as to the true meaning of the shallot.

The shallot is a classy onion. The shallot is to the onion as the Aston Martin DBS is to the Chrysler Sebring. Softer, sweeter, and mellower than it’s larger cousin, the shallot turns any run-of-the-mill recipe into four-star fare. If you have a dish that you normally like to prepare with onions, substituting shallots is an acceptable way to introduce them to your culinary arsenal. More practical and more impressive, though, is to seek out a simple recipe that shows off the shallot in all its savory glory. You can find them by the bushel at, the food network’s official site, and the bachelor chef’s best friend. Bookmark it. Now!

Whether used as an ingredient or a garnish (thinly sliced and fried to a crisp, they can top just about any main course), I guarantee the shallot will impress any diner of the opposite sex. It also won’t give either of you lingering breath problems that might interfere with whatever you have planned for after dessert. (You did remember dessert, right?)

Here is a typical exchange between a Gentleman Bachelor and his date as he starts to slice shallots for their meal.

Date: What are those? They look like rosy onions.

GB: Oh, these? They’re shallots. I cook with them all the time. I had them at
{insert trendy restaurant you can't afford} and thought I’d give them a shot at home. Now, I can’t believe I ever cooked without them.

Date: Wow! Fancy!

GB: Not any fancier than the champagne and strawberries I have for dessert.

Date giggles, swoons, and calls her roommate to tell her not to wait up.

The next morning, when you wake up, impress your now-overnight guest with sautéed shallots and eggs. Just don’t blame us when she asks you what’s for lunch.


John Waters On Safari said...

Dear Gentleman Bachelor,

Are long-stemmed green shallots an acceptable substitute for the more traditional brown shallots?

Mike Lisboa said...

No. Long-stemmed green shallots are expensive scallions. They can suck it.

DP said...

Dear Gentleman Bachelor,

As an aphrodisiac, will
Gene Shalit do in a pinch?

M. Annie said...

One would hope that this enterprising bachelor would come across the Perfect Date, the Lady of Shallot. Then she wouldn't have to ask assinine questions. And he wouldn't have to waste chopping time answering them.

Mike Lisboa said...

Dear DP,

Gene Shalit is a known aphrodisiac among trolls.

If this is the type of lady you are wooing, then, yes, Gene Shalit will work in a pinch, but may God have mercy on your soul if it works.