This $2.99 ​​Kroger freezer find is my favorite weeknight dinner shortcut.

Since the beginning of my cooking career (helping with dinner counts when I was 6, right?), onions have been my staple. In addition to the tear-inducing, injury-prone task of peeling and cutting them, cooking them concerns maintaining that delicate balance between raw, tender, caramelized, and charred.

Onions can also be a polarizing ingredient. Some people put raw onions on everything and some people don't even think of onions coming near them. For me, it's the fact that I've had so many dishes where the onions weren't fully cooked that the recipe turned me off. That is until Julia Child reminded me Pearl Onion Available

How Julia Child's recipe started my obsession with frozen pearl onions.

I first got the idea of ​​using pearl onions in a video by Julia Child who uses fresh pearl onions to make a braised onion dish. I went to three stores before I finally found fresh pearl onions. Back home, I followed her exact instructions for blanching and peeling these things, only to pierce my finger with a paring knife.

Undeterred, I bandaged my finger, went back to Kroger, and bought frozen pearl onions. I finally made Julia's recipe, ate every delicious bite, and never looked back.

After this discovery, I started using frozen pearl onions in most of my cooking. They are blanched and peeled before packaging, so most of the work is done for you. No more biting or crying!

Because of their small size, all you have to do is add them to whatever you're cooking and they cook perfectly. I've used them in stir-fries, added them to potato hash, added them to soups and stews, and even added them when roasting vegetables in the oven.

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How to Substitute Pearl Onions for Regular Onions

The easiest thing about frozen pearl onions is that they can go right into your freezer, with no prep required. They melt almost immediately after adding them, cook quickly and add flavor to the dish. And freezing has that raw onion taste and texture that I don't like.

In a soup or stew, like my mother's Korean curry rice, I sometimes melt them on a paper towel-lined plate for about 15 minutes or microwave them in a pinch for 30 seconds. Then I fry them in oil or butter until they start to caramelize a bit, then add them to the pot. This quick saute adds the depth of flavor you'd expect from browned fresh onions with none of the crunch or tears.

For a fraction of the price of fresh pearl onions, you get a product that won't spoil, requires no preparation, and tastes at least as good, if not better. From a fresh alternative to If something frozen can taste as good as fresh but make my life easier, I'm wearing a sweater and heading to the frozen food section. See you there!

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