Warning: My apologies to my vegan and vegetarian friends; stop reading now and move along, nothing to see here! Also, there is absolutely no chance that the American Heart Association would endorse this recipe. Please have paramedics standing by before consumption.
I've been making this recipe for years around the holidays, and it's usually a big hit; my family considers me the "creamed onions" guy, and though I have a lot of other great holiday recipes, this one seems to be my specialty. As a number of folks have asked me "what's this creamed onions stuff you talk about", I thought I'd share my recipe with the world. Please consume at your own risk, and may whatever God or gods are out there have forgiveness on my soul.
My creamed onion recipe began as an experiment with a version of carbonara sauce, and has become virtually unrecognizable from those humble beginnings. Thick, creamy, slightly sweet, and so rich you can feel your arteries clogging with each bite, it's versatile as both a great side dish and an entree. Preparation is fairly simple and quick, and the recipe can be cut or added easily for different numbers of servings. The version here is for a basic four entree/eight side-dish servings.
John's (In)Famous Creamed Onions
1 large sweet yellow onion (Walla Walla if available), finely chopped (12 oz package of frozen chopped onions can substitute)
1/2 cup frozen early petite green peas (NOT canned!)
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs, finely crumbled
1 package Stouffer's® Creamed Chipped Beef
1/4 lb ham (smoked or honey depending on taste; chicken breast works well too), cooked and finely chopped
1/4 cup real bacon bits (medium finely chopped)
2 tbsp bacon "cracklings"
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, finely shredded (cheddar or other cheeses can substitute, but avoid "soft" cheeses like mozzarella)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (half-and-half can substitute)
1/4 cup sweet cream butter (regular margarine will work, but increase heavy cream to 3/4 cup; low-fat margarine will NOT work well)
1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Tabasco® Smoked Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1 tbsp sugar (honey works well too)
Bacon "cracklings" should be prepared in advance; they are best prepared by crisp-frying 1 pound bacon, then removing the bacon for another meal, draining most of the grease off and retaining the leftover solids; do not allow to burn. Thaw peas to room temperature or microwave on high for 3 minutes and put aside. Cook Stouffer's® Creamed Chipped Beef according to package directions and put aside. Place chopped onion in microwave and cook on high for 6 minutes or until very soft. Place onions and butter in frying pan and sautee over medium heat for 10 minutes or until golden brown and just beginning to carmelize. Reduce heat to medium-low and add Stouffer's®, peas, ham or chicken, bacon bits, "cracklings", cream, pepper, garlic, Tabasco®, and sugar and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. After 10 minutes, add bread crumbs, and continue simmering and stirring for an additional 10 minutes or until mixture thickens and begins to brown. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese until nicely blended. Serve immediately, either as a side-dish to complement turkey or chicken, or as an entree, such as over egg noodles for dinner, or even toast or an English muffin for breakfast or lunch.
Serves 8 as a side-dish, or 4 as an entree.
Hope you enjoy this as much as we have! All the best to you and yours for the holidays, and hope that you have a wonderful new year!