Pearl Onions in Champagne

08cPorkOnionPLatebfLOMany folk are busily researching and planning and getting the last bits set for their big feast – THE dinner for many households. Thing is, most of the food is kinda…cheesy – in a GOOD way – sauced and dressed up & garnished to a fare-thee-well.

Such as creamed onions; a wonderful dish in its own right, but next to ALL THE REST OF THE FEAST? Too much! Here’s a wicked tasty, still slightly rich, but decidedly refreshing (and easy) way to add these fine little onions to your groaning board.

•1 pkg frozen pearl onions,
thawed and drained
•1-1/2 tsp brown sugar
•1/4 tsp sea salt
•1 sprig fresh thyme
•1-1/2 tsp unsalted butter
•2 cups champagne
•2 tbsp champagne

03OnionsAddChampagneButterbfLOA note on the champagne: ever since my anniversary dinner in October, I’ve been partial to Nicolas Feuillatte Blue Label Brut, but mebbe not for cooking – unless you have a much bigger budget than I. A decent – ermmm value-priced – Méthode Champenoise wine will do you fine – just be certain to use a wine that you wouldn’t mind drinking, because there will be some left over and you shouldn’t waste it, after all. Korbel Blanc de Noirs, at about $10/bottle, was perfectly fine for cooking and sipping 05aOnionsBrownedbfLOwhile cooking; and I could save my $30 bottle of Feuillatte for just sipping…

Scatter the onions in a large skillet along with the butter, brown sugar, sea salt, and the thyme, then pour 2 cups of the champagne over all.

Bring to a boil, stirring, over high heat.

Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the liquid has been reduced, the onions are golden brown, and there are a few crispity browned bits on the bottom of 06OnionsDeglazePanbfLOthe pan. Fret not! Those bits are loaded with flavor, and we are going to save them.

Add the remaining two tablespoons of champagne to the pan and stir, scraping up all of those lovely crispity bits and lightly glazing the onions.

Cover the pan and set in a warm spot to rest until the rest of dinner is ready.

Simple, no? And fast! And TASTY – Thanksgiving Dinner Tasty – so cut out the cheese and the cream (if not the butter) and try a new take on pearl onions for this year’s feast.

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