2 cups whole milk
3 cloves whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1 pound pearl onions (about 2 cups), peeled, trimmed, or 1 frozen pearl onions, thawed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 pounds bags frozen peas, thawed
¼ cup crème fraîche, whole-milk Greek yogurt, or sour cream
Bring milk, cloves, and bay leaf to a boil in a small saucepan; reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes to let flavors meld. Strain into a medium bowl; discard solids. Cover milk and keep warm.
Meanwhile, place onions in a large skillet (at least 12”). Add water to half-cover the onions (about 1 cup). Add 1 Tbsp. butter, 1 tsp. salt, and sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onions are golden brown, about 12 minutes. Gently transfer onions to a large plate.
Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in same skillet over medium heat; add flour and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, for 1 minute. Whisk in reserved milk, adding ¼-cupful at a time. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in remaining ½ tsp. salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add peas and onions; stir until heated through. Gently fold in crème fraîche.
Bon Appetit, November 2012