Friday, November 26, 2010

Suzee's Peas and Onions with Champagne Cream Sauce

We went to the Indian Lake Potluck Thanksgiving this year, and Rick was hoping for some peas and onions. Usually we just buy them frozen, but here in South TX there was not even a package of frozen onions to be had.

I did find some raw pearl onions and figured, what the heck - lets try and make some from scratch.

I blanched the onions for 3 - 4 minutes to get the skins off (3 ten ounce packages). I figured out early on that if you leave the root end attached, and slice off the other end, you can pretty easily peel off the outter layer and slice it off the onion. I tried the "slip the skins off" method, but my onions were not cooperating.

In a stock pot I added about a 1/2 cup of flour and 3 or 4 T of butter. I stirred them together to make a roux and continued stirring as they cooked on medium for 2 - 3 minutes. I added a can of low sodium chicken broth, and whisked this together until smooth. Next I added 1/2 bottle of Asti Spumanti (Mom's fave for a holiday). Once it stopped bubbling from the carbination, I simmered it a bit to allow it to thicken. Maybe 5 or 10 minutes. I added some salt and freshly ground pepper, and I'll tell you the sauce tasted pretty gosh darn good at this point, so I added back the onions and also added 2 lbs of frozen peas. I let the the veggies simmer for about 10 minutes. After that I added about 1/2 - 3/4 cup half and half, and heated it through. I added more salt and pepper at this point as after the cream addition, it definitely needed some adjustments.

I consider this recipe a success - the 25 or so folks at the pot luck enjoyed them, as did Rick. Next time though I think I would make these adjustments.

Add the peas at the end, so they stay a nice bright green.
Consider going without the cream at all - the sauce was really nice even without it.
Add some tarragon to the mix - I think that would really make it special.

If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes! Enjoy!