Shallots are prized by cooks for their delicate flavour - a sweeter and less omnipresent taste and odour than onions. They melt easily in heat and blend well with other ingredients without overpowering a sauce or a vinaigrette. One downside to shallots, however, is that they possess a sticky, papery peel that can be difficult to remove. If you have a sharp knife and hot water on hand, though, you can remove the peel and lose little of the shallot in the process.
Separate the shallots into individual cloves.
Soak the shallots in hot water for two to three minutes.
Cut the top and root off of each clove.
Make a slit from top to bottom with your pairing knife, just under the top layer of the shallot.
Peel the skin and the first layer of the shallot away from the slit.
You may be able to squeeze the shallot out of it's skin after you cut the ends off.