Pre-sweated Shallots and Garlic

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by maxs, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. maxs

    maxs

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    At my restaurant we sell a lot of Scallops Scampi Style. The procedure is as follows: When the order comes in we sear the scallops (cook to rare temp.), then remove scallops from pan, then deglaze with white wine, then sweat minced shallots and garlic,  then go on to complete the sauce and at the last minute heat the scallops back up to medium rare and add to the pasta and sauce. I hate cooking the scallops so far in advance, but if I wait too long then the line gets bogged down while I am doing a thorough sweat of garlic/shallot.

    At one time we kept pre-sweated shallots on the mise en place, but discontinued the practice because I had the hunch that doing so would diminish the quality of the shallot. What are your thoughts about pre-sweating?

    Thanks!
     
  2. someday

    someday

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    Well, shallots sweat pretty fast, so I don't always see a need on a fast, busy saute station, but I think that if you pre sweat shallots it wouldn't be THAT big of a deal. I use shallot "confit" and garlic "confit" all the time, which is essentially sweated shallots or garlic in a lot of oil. It tastes delicious, mellows out the raw taste, and can be used for a variety of things in which you want a shallot flavor but none of the raw harshness (perfect for vinaigrettes, relishes, etc). 

    Also, something else that diminishes the quality of shallots is mincing a bunch (or, heaven forbid, robot-couping a bunch) and letting it hang out for a day or two. If you aren't mincing/brunoising your shallots for every service, then you might actually be better off making confit and/or pre-sweating. 

    I tell you, there are a lot of lazy cooks out there who would use 2-3-4 day old minced/chopped shallots. Gross. 
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  3. chefross

    chefross

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    Going along with that train of thought, you could pre-sweat your shallots as before but only what you'll think you'll be using that night, and anything leftover would be pitched. Someday.....you are soooooo right about using old pre-chopped shallots.....gross.
     
  4. maxs

    maxs

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    Point taken. I guess I should have been more specific...it's more the garlic that I am afraid of under-sweating a la minute. Not worried about the taste being harsh, but the texture of the garlic should be soft in the sauce. Guess I'll try pre-sweating both shallots and garlic.

    Thanks.
     
  5. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Make garlic almost into a paste ,it will cook quick. Pre sweat shallots is ok but throw out any leftover as they could sour if underdone.
     
  6. someday

    someday

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    You could microplane the garlic....works very well, though you'll have to do it every day
     
  7. coup-de-feu

    coup-de-feu

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    I have some questions about your technique:  Are the scallops being browned on the outside?  Are the scallops fresh or frozen?  When you deglaze the pan are you lifting drippings from the bottom of it?  You say after you deglaze you sweat the veg, but veg cannot be sweat in liquid - that would be poaching.  When you say complete the sauce what do you mean?  What makes the base of the sauce is it and how is it thickened?  Don't take me as being critical, I am just trying to understand so I can give you the best answer.  

    Have you considered starting with the shallots or adding the scallops and shallots together?  It probably is not nessasary to remove the scallops and cook them twice.

    CDF
     
  8. maxs

    maxs

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    I can't sear (brown) the fresh scallops in a pan that contains shallots and garlic: #1 I need a clean pan to get a good sear and #2 the shallots/garlic would burn from the high searing temperature.