pearl onions

Pearl Onions and Brussels Sprouts in Horseradish Cream Sauce

by Anne Maxfield on November 17, 2016

 Accidental Locavore Quartered Brussels SproutsThe Accidental Locavore’s mother always insisted on pearl onions for Thanksgiving.

No one really likes pearl onions “straight-up”.

When I found this recipe from Bon Appètit it seemed like a great combination.

Also perfect for Thanksgiving because you don’t need the oven.

Pearl Onions and Brussels Sprouts in Horseradish Cream

  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions thawed
  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half the long way
  • 3 tablespoons horseradish (more to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice or nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Cook the Brussels sprouts until just tender either in a microwave for 5 minutes, or boil them in salted water for about 6 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Combine the horseradish, flour and allspice in a small bowl, mix well and whisk in the cream. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the thyme and stir 30 seconds. Add the onions and Brussels sprouts and saute until heated through, about 4 minutes.

Add the horseradish mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cream is reduced to a glaze, coating the vegetables, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more horseradish if you like. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Peeling HorseradishMy verdict: This is a tried and true Thanksgiving hit! Even the non-pearl onion and/or Brussels sprouts haters often find themselves surprised by how good this is!

Besides not needing an oven, you can precook the Brussels sprouts and onions and set them aside. Ditto for the horseradish sauce. Then, just finish them before you’re ready to serve (about 5 minutes or until they’re warm).

True confession, much to my friend Zhu Zhu’s disgust, I always buy frozen pearl onions. They’re such a pain to peel and at Thanksgiving the last thing you need is to spend an hour peeling tiny onions. If you want to go the fresh route, blanch them and peel them (you might want to cook them first for a couple of minutes before adding the sprouts to the pan).

What’s a family Thanksgiving food tradition you’d like to change?

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Mastering Boeuf Bourguignon

by Anne Maxfield on December 2, 2013

Accidental Locavore Boeuf BourgignonIf you were going to make boeuf bourguignon, wouldn’t you just turn to the expert and consult Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking? That’s what the Accidental Locavore thought when It was time to make a special meal for my husband.

Luckily, my copy is not a first edition (although it’s probably about 40 years old), because my poor book ended up getting really abused in the process of looking up and making the recipe. Between tossing a full glass of water all over it and then dripping stuff on it while cooking, you’d never know it was one of my favorites!

Whatever you think of Julia Child (and I’m a huge fan), it’s always fascinating to make one of the recipes from the book. They’re smart, well written, well edited and even when they start to get complicated, make sense. That may sound like me being fussy (probably true) but when you look at something like Mastering the Art and compare it to a modern best seller, like say Jerusalemthere’s just such a huge difference. Part of it is confidence. I know Julia will never let me down, but with Ottolenghi, it’s very much hit-or-miss.

Accidental Locavore Making BoeufAnyway, back to the boeuf. For once I was a pretty faithful recipe follower and I’m glad I was. My usual tactic with something like this would be to just dump in a bunch of mushrooms and pearl onions (and to the horror of my friend Zhu Zhu, yes, I do buy frozen onions – hate peeling the fresh ones). Julia has you cook both separately and it was definitely worth the time (and cleanup). This time, you got a real taste of mushrooms, sautéed in butter, earthy and flavorful. Same with the onions, after being browned and then braised in beef stock. Of course, beautiful grass-fed beef from our Brykill Farm share helped, as did a good bottle of Burgundy. If I get more obsessive, I’ll look into making my own egg noodles and who knows, might even start peeling pearl onions. In the meantime, for this and coq au vin, the mushrooms and onions will always get the Julia treatment!

 

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Two Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

by Anne Maxfield on November 15, 2012

This year the Accidental Locavore snuck off to California and will actually be on an airplane for the big event. Which is not to say that I don’t have your back in the kitchen come next Thursday. If you want to know how gravy can go wrong, check out my post for The Daily Meal. And if you’re looking for a couple of delicious, no-fuss side dishes, here you go! The cranberry confit can even be made ahead.

Cranberry, Onion and Apricot Confit:

Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Meal type Condiment
One of the Accidental Locavore's favorite Thanksgiving condiments. This easy cranberry confit is flavored with dried apricots.

Ingredients

  • 2lb onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups cranberries (1 bag)
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped (I use the ones from Trader Joes)

Directions

Step 1
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over moderate heat, add the onions and sugar, stir and cook until the onions are pale golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the vinegar, water, cranberries, a pinch of salt, and cook the mixture, stirring for 10-15 minutes until the cranberries have burst and are soft. Stir in the apricots and cook for one more minute.
Step 2
Serve warm or at room temperature. You can make this ahead as it will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks covered.

Brussels Sprouts and Pearl Onions in Horseradish Cream

Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Side Dish
The Accidental Locavore's Thanksgiving treat. A great side dish combining Brussels sprouts and pearl onions in a horseradish cream sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions (true confession: I always buy pearl onions frozen, it's such a pain to peel them, but if you want to go the fresh route, blanch and then peel them)
  • 1 1/2lb Brussels sprouts (trimmed and cut in half lengthwise)
  • 3 tablespoons horseradish (more to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice (substitute nutmeg if you like)
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

Directions

Step 1
Cook the Brussels sprouts until just tender, either in a microwave for 5 minutes or boil them in salted water for about 6 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
Step 2
Combine the horseradish, flour and allspice in a small bowl, mix well and whisk in the cream. Set aside.
Step 3
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the thyme and stir 30 seconds. Add the onions and Brussels sprouts and sauté until heated through, about 4 minutes. Add the horseradish mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cream is reduced to a glaze, coating the vegetables, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more horseradish if you like. Serve and enjoy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

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Accidental Locavore Coq au VinThis recipe for Coq au vin is one of  the Accidental Locavore’s husband’s favorite dishes. If you want to make it as part of the Cook-Along, check out either Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking or The Way to Cook. It’s basically a recipe for French chicken stew with bacon and red wine, and can be served over mashed potatoes or buttered noodles. It’s pretty easy to make, and the length of time it takes really depends on you. If you have the time and inclination, you can marinate the chicken overnight in the wine, and/or let it braise in a slow cooker. Or do it on the stove, only one pot to clean. You can easily make this for a crowd, just increase everything proportionately. This serves about 4 people. Cooking time 1 hour, plus optional marinating time.

  • 1 chicken cut into 8 pieces
  • flour, salt and pepper for dredging the chicken
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon (or use an end), cut into 1/2″ strips (lardons)
  • 1 bottle decent red wine (if you won’t drink it, don’t cook with it, we use a basic Cotes de Rhone)
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons Cognac (optional, but use it)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (buy the tubes, then you don’t wonder what to do with the rest of the can)
  • 8 ounces button or baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions (trust me it’s easier than peeling fresh ones)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence (optional)

If you want to marinate the chicken, put it and enough red wine to cover it, in covered dish, or Ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight. Don’t panic if it’s a weird shade of purple the next day, it’s just the wine. The next day, remove it from the marinade, toss the marinade, and pat the chicken dry.

If you’re not marinating the chicken,  pat it dry. Heat the olive oil in a big saute pan, or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until almost crispy about 5 minutes.  When the bacon is done, remove it from the pan, and put it on paper towels to drain. Raise the heat to medium high. While the bacon is cooking, pour enough flour to dredge the chicken into a shallow bowl, mix in salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, and shake off the excess. Brown it in the olive oil/bacon fat on both sides (start skin side down), about 5 minutes a side. Depending on your pan, you may have to do this in batches.

When the chicken is browned, add the rest of the wine, the cognac, and about a cup of chicken broth. You want the wine and broth to come about 2/3 of the way up the chicken. Stir in the tomato paste until mixed in. Add the bacon, mushrooms, onions, bay leaf, herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook over low heat for about an hour until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone.

If you’re using a slow cooker, when the chicken is browned, add it, the bacon, mushrooms, onions, spices, wine, cognac, and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Cover and cook over low heat.

This is optional, but it intensifies the sauce. When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan, and put it on a platter tented with aluminum foil to keep it warm. Turn the heat up to high, and bring the sauce to a boil. The longer you boil it, the more it will reduce, and intensify the flavor. When it gets to a consistency and taste you like, add the chicken back in, serve and enjoy.

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