It is close to the end of the month and I wanted to use utilize items from the freezer rather than shell out extra cash at the grocery store. I paired this recipe for peas au gratin with barbecue pork chops slathered with my favorite barbecue sauce.
I had a problem with the bread crumbs never soaking up the liquid resulting in a powdery mess underneath a hard layer of cheese. To combat this press the bread crumbs and cheese down into the liquid enough to moisten. You could even mix the cheese and bread crumbs into the creamed peas. Use the left overs to make chicken pot pie.
Source: Adapted from Emeril
1 tsp plus 2 tbsp butter
1 cup minced onions
Freshly ground white pepper
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
4 cups sweet green peas
1/2 cup fine dried bread crumbs
Essence, recipe follows
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8 cup oval gratin dish or baking dish with 1 teaspoon of the butter.
In a large saute pan, over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the milk and bring to a simmer. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add the peas and mix thoroughly.
Pour into the prepared pan. Season the bread crumbs with Essence. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the peas pressing down to moisten. Top with grated cheese. Place in the oven and cook until the peas are bubbly and the top is golden, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp black pepper
* 1 tbsp onion powder
* 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
* 1 tbsp dried oregano
* 1 tbsp dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yield: 2/3 cup