fabulous recipe comes from Food & Wine Magazine. It's credited to Barbara
Lynch and originally appeared in the November 2006 issue. It's simple, and
a perfect make a day ahead dish.
Onions au Gratin
Fresh pearl onions in a mixture of cream, garlic, shallots and bacon, then tops
it all with a crispy panko crust.
* 2 1/2 pounds red or white pearl onions * 4 thick strips of bacon, finely
diced * 2 tablespoons unsalted butter * 2 shallots, finely chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced * 1 1/2 cups heavy cream * Salt and freshly
ground pepper * 3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or coarse, dry bread
crumbs * 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Drain
and rinse under cold water. Use a sharp knife to trim off the root ends, then
pinch the onions to remove the skins.
In a medium, deep skillet, cook
the bacon over moderately high heat until the fat is rendered, 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour the bacon fat into a heatproof cup and reserve 1 1/2 teaspoons. Drain the
bacon on paper towels.
Add the butter to the skillet along with the shallots
and garlic. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add the cream and simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes; season with
salt and pepper. Transfer the pearl onions to a large, shallow baking dish and
cover with the cream.
(Stop here if making a day ahead of time)
In a small bowl, toss the panko with the bacon, parsley and the 1 1/2 teaspoons
of reserved bacon fat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the crumb
mixture over the onions. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the crumbs
are toasted and the onions are bubbling, about 30 minutes.
To make this dish the
day before prepare the onions through step three and refrigerate overnight. Return
to room temperature before baking.
Make sure that you buy pearl onions
and not boiling onions which are larger.