Serves 4

Charred Creamed Onions

Creamy and smoky is the only way to describe this side dish of pearl onions and cream. Infused with herbs and spices, the sauce becomes bold and flavorful.  A touch of bourbon’s sweetness provides a contrast to the heat of the chili pepper and creates the perfect side for any Southwestern entree.

The pearl onions do take some time to clean but the remainder of the dish comes together quickly. While the dish could be changed by adding corn or a bit of white cheddar cheese, the flavors as presented are intense.

2 pounds pearl onions
½ T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ t kosher salt
¼ t freshly ground black pepper
¾ c chicken stock
1 ¼ c heavy cream
1 bay leaf
1 t fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T unsalted butter
2 T all purpose flour
2 T bourbon
1 t cumin
½ t ground ancho chile pepper such as Penzey’s Spices Ground Ancho Chili Pepper
½ t salt
¼ t freshly ground black pepper
1 T fresh chives, chopped

Flavor Tier 1

Place cleaned onions in a medium bowl. Add olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Spread onions on sided baking sheet.

Flavor Tier 2

Place onions under broiler and roast for 5-10 minutes. Turn often to char all sides. Remove from oven.

Flavor Tier 3

In a medium sized saucepan, heat chicken stock and heavy cream over medium high heat to a soft boil. Remove from heat. Add bay leaf and thyme to cream mixture. Stir to combine. Remove from heat.

Flavor Tier 4

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, whisk to combine and cook the roux for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned.

Flavor Tier 5

Remove bay leaf from cream mixture. Slowly add cream to roux, whisking continuously, until all cream has been added. Continue whisking until sauce is smooth. Add bourbon, cumin, chili pepper, salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat until sauce reaches a slow boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened, about 8-10 minutes.

Flavor Tier 6

Add onions to sauce. Stir to distribute onions and color sauce. Divide between 4 small bowls. Evenly distribute the chives on top of onions in each bowl.