November 4, 2016

Creamed Pearl Onion Gratin ~ a Thanksgiving favorite at our house

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Creamed Pearl Onion Gratin ~ Tender pearl onions are baked in creamy cheesy sauce, delicately seasoned with a fresh thyme crumb topping.  They're a perfect Thanksgiving or holiday side!
Thank you to the Partnership for Food Safety Education for sponsoring this post.
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Creamed Pearl Onion Gratin ~ Tender pearl onions baked in creamy cheesy sauce, delicately seasoned with fresh thyme crumb topping. They're a perfect Thanksgiving or holiday side.  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


I just love to hear what foods are Thanksgiving traditions for different families.  For our family, some form of an onion dish has always graced our Thanksgiving table.  And I must say, aside from stuffing (that's my absolute favorite), the onion dish is the one I look forward to most.

For the last six years or so, this Creamed Pearl Onion Gratin has become our traditional go-to Thanksgiving onion dish.  And man, is it delicious!!  I'm so glad we decided to give this recipe a chance on the Thanksgiving menu those several years ago.  It's become our favorite ever since its debut.

While I love to debut new foods in our holiday meals, do you know what I don't  want to debut at our house for Thanksgiving?  Bacteria in our food that could lead to foodborne illness, that's what!



Which is why I'm partnering with the Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) and their Story of Your Dinner campaign to raise awareness of simple actions to take to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

While preparing our holiday {and everyday} dinners, we can all reduce the risk of foodborne illness by practicing the simple Core Four Practices of Food Safety:
1. Clean ~ Wash hands and surfaces often.
2. Separate ~ Don't cross-contaminate.
3. Cook ~ Cook to the safe internal temperature.
4. Chill ~ Refrigerate or freeze promptly.

And if you have little ones at home like our 6-year-old Little Miss H.? It's never too early to involve them in food safety, too!  Visit the Story of Your Dinner webpage to learn more about the "Core Four," access kids' educational games and activities, and download fun and educational placemats to help them discover the "Core Four:"



I just love these placemats and think they're such a creative and fun way to educate our little ones.  I know Little Miss H. would certainly enjoy coloring and doing the activities on them ... all while starting to learn safe food practices at the same time!

Creamed Pearl Onion Gratin ~ Tender pearl onions baked in creamy cheesy sauce, delicately seasoned with fresh thyme crumb topping. They're a perfect Thanksgiving or holiday side.  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com

I know I'll certainly be practicing the "Core Four" while I make this Creamed Pearl Onion Gratin for our Thanksgiving dinner.

So how do you make this creamy cheesy onion yumminess, you say?

Well, in keeping with the "Core Four" food safety practices, start by washing your hands and cooking surfaces, of course!  Then make a basic white sauce by melting butter in a saucepan and whisking in some flour until it's thick and smooth.  This will be the thickener, and will produce a nice creamy-textured sauce for the onions.

Next, gradually whisk in half-and-half  and cook until thick.  Then stir in a tasty dose of grated white cheddar cheese.

Creamed Pearl Onion Gratin ~ Tender pearl onions baked in creamy cheesy sauce, delicately seasoned with fresh thyme crumb topping. They're a perfect Thanksgiving or holiday side.  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com

Now add in your pearl onions and stir them around until they're all beautifully coated in the creamy sauce.

Creamed Pearl Onion Gratin ~ Tender pearl onions baked in creamy cheesy sauce, delicately seasoned with fresh thyme crumb topping. They're a perfect Thanksgiving or holiday side.  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com

A quick note about the pearl onions for this recipe ~ you can use either fresh or frozen onions.  Peeling the little fresh baby onions can be a bit tedious.  While they taste absolutely delicious, you can skip the peeling task and use frozen onions just fine if you'd prefer.  Just be sure to thaw the frozen onions overnight in the refrigerator or for a few minutes in the microwave to keep them at a safe temperature during thawing.  Then drain them well before combining with the sauce.

Transfer the onion mixture to a baking dish and top it with additional white cheddar cheese and fresh bread crumbs spiked with fresh thyme.  While I will substitute frozen onions for fresh, I don't recommend skipping fresh bread crumbs and fresh thyme.  I recommend staying true to the fresh on those.

Bake it all up until the onion mixture is nice and bubbly, a food thermometer inserted into the center reaches 165 °F, and the top is golden brown.

Creamed Pearl Onion Gratin ~ Tender pearl onions baked in creamy cheesy sauce, delicately seasoned with fresh thyme crumb topping. They're a perfect Thanksgiving or holiday side.  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com

Then dig in and enjoy.  I for one know our Thanksgiving table just wouldn't be complete without this dish!  And I also know our holiday meal food is safe, thanks to the "Core Four" practices for food safety.

Visit the Story of Your Dinner webpage to learn more about the "Core Four" simple actions you can take to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Creamed Pearl Onion Gratin ~ Tender pearl onions baked in creamy cheesy sauce, delicately seasoned with fresh thyme crumb topping. They're a perfect Thanksgiving or holiday side.  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com
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Creamed Pearl Onion Gratin
Source:  Adapted from Southern Living

Ingredients
Creamed Onions:
  • 1 (10 to 12 oz.) package fresh OR 1 (16 oz.) package frozen pearl onions
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 T. all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ c. half-and-half
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. dry ground mustard
  • dash of ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ c. (6 oz.) shredded white sharp cheddar cheese, divided
Crumb Topping:
  • 4 T. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ¼ c. fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs (about 3 slices of bread)
  • 1 to 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Directions
  1. Start by washing your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. Wash your cutting boards and counter tops with hot soapy water.
  2. FOR THE CREAMED ONIONS: If using fresh onions, remove the outer skin. Rub by hand or scrub with a clean brush while rinsing under running tap water. Peel onions and place in a saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 6 to 8 minutes or until onions are just tender. If using frozen onions, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or for a few minutes in the microwave to keep them at a safe temperature during thawing. Heat thawed onions in the microwave or simmer on the stovetop for 3 to 4 minutes until onions are just tender. Drain well. Set aside.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add half-and-half; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened.
  4. Add salt, pepper, ground mustard, and nutmeg. Add 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese; stir until cheese melts. Gently stir in drained onions.
  5. Pour onion mixture into a lightly greased 1-quart baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with remaining ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese.
  6. FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING: Combine breadcrumbs and chopped thyme. Toss breadcrumbs with the 4 tablespoons of melted butter until crumbs are well coated. Sprinkle evenly over onion mixture.
  7. TO BAKE: Bake, uncovered, at 350 °F for 25 to 30 minutes, until a food thermometer inserted into the center reaches 165 °F and the top is golden brown. If you will not be serving right away, reduce oven temperature to 200 °F and keep in oven until it is time to eat.
Enjoy!


Please enjoy these other perfect-for-Thanksgiving side dishes from The Kitchen is My Playground ...








Creamed Pearl Onion Gratin ~ Tender pearl onions baked in creamy cheesy sauce, delicately seasoned with fresh thyme crumb topping. They're a perfect Thanksgiving or holiday side.  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Partnership for Food Safety Education and I have been compensated for my participation. All opinions are my own.


This post is linked with Weekend Potluck.

5 comments:

  1. I have never had this...it looks so delish though! Xo..j

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh wow, I have never heard of this recipe! But I love onions, and I love crunchies on top :) I'll have to give this dish a try. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  3. This looks and sounds to die for!!! Can't wait to give it a try! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh how I love pearl onions! And what a wonderful way to serve them. Thank you for sharing this delicious side dish with us at Hearth and Soul. Pinned! It's perfect for the holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have Pearl Onions hanging in the barn from our summer garden and this will be a perfect recipe for us to try. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us at Full Plate Thursday this week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments. I read and appreciate each and every one. Thank you so much for visiting The Kitchen is My Playground! {NOTE: Captcha word verification is on to turn away the 'spambots' ... I apologize for the commenting inconvenience!}

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