I know that it is a little early for a Thanksgiving recipe, but I have a good reason. I am a part of a little cooking group called Lazy Susan. We are a group of photographers, that also happen to be some serious food lovers. The idea is a to have a virtual food fest based on a 10 on 10 project. You start at one blog, and click around until you have made it back to the beginning, completing a full meal. Sounds great doesn’t it? So won’t you please join us on the first of each month as this diverse group of food lovers share their favorite recipes, tips and tricks inspired by the seasons? And with it, I hope that you find some gorgeous and inspirational new blogs to read. I sure have.
Now on to my creamed onions. This Thanksgiving side dish comes from my grandmother, and I have not made it in years. I am kicking myself for that. I took one bite, and was brought back to my mother’s dining room table in my childhood home. My Nonnie’s is a 7 onion gratin, and we think that the recipe came from a very old Gourmet magazine. I cannot find the original recipe, but this version is spot on. And even though I did not use 7 different kinds of onions, it is still the most delectable side dish out there. I do a few things that my grandmother did, because why fix something that it broken, right? Like her, I saute the onions separately, I know that I could do them all together to save time, but I think that it doesn’t taste the same when you do it that way. I also do not have a saute pan large enough to do it all together, so this method works for me. I also like each part to be cooked and seasoned perfectly and this is the only way to assure this. Does this take awhile? Yes, but the effort is minimal. When I add this to my Thanksgiving menu, I make it in one large casserole dish. You can make it up to a day ahead of time and keep it covered in the fridge.
Ready for the next course? Head on over to Gretchen Davis’s Blog to see what she has cooked for us.
1-2 sticks butter
3 sweet onions
3 red onions
1 bunch leeks
1 bag frozen pearl onions (thaw them out)
salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup panko crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Prep your leeks. Slice them and clean the leeks, they are full of sand and grit. Put the sliced leeks in a bowl of cold water and let the sand go to the bottom. I do this a few times to get them really clean.
Slice your onions. I like the onions to all have a different shape and texture. The red onions are kept whole, and thinly sliced. I halved the sweet onions, and kept them on the thick side. The shallots are sliced thinly, and the garlic is minced.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add a few Tablespoons of butter to the pan. Add the red and sweet onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until they are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. You do not want to caramelize them, but cook them until they are really soft.
Take the first batch of onions out, and put them in a bowl. Add more butter, and add the leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Cook them until the are soft, about 10 more minutes, but still have some color to them.
Take the leeks out, and add some more butter. It is Thanksgiving, so we are not counting how much butter we are using are we? Add the pearl onions and shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft.
By now, you should have a bowl of delicious, well-seasoned, soft onions.
And a saute pan with yummy onion bits. Add another Tablespoon of butter to the pan and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, being careful to not burn it. (If you do, take it out and start over.)
Add the cream to the pan. Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the cream begins to reduce.
Add the onions back into the pan.
Give a taste at this point. Make sure that the onions are well-seasoned.
Pour the creamed onions into either one big casserole dish, or individual ones. At this point, you can cover these and keep them in the fridge for 24 hours.
Make the crumb topping. Add the panko, Parmesan, parsley, and a few Tablespoons of melted butter to a bowl. Add some pepper.
Top the creamed onions with the panko crumb mixture. Bake in a 375 degree oven until they are heated through and the top is brown and bubbly, about 45 minutes.
Next up, Gretchen Davis’s Blog.