3 lb. pearl onions, trimmed and peeled

2 cups chicken broth

12 cups half-and-half

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tbsp. flour

2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed

2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

2 tbsp. Worcestershire

1 tbsp. brandy or port

1 tsp. ground cumin

12 tsp. ancho chile powder or other chile powder

12 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Mexican hot sauce, such as Cholula, to taste

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Heat oven to broil and place a rack 4″ from heating element. Put onions on a rimmed baking sheet and broil, turning occasionally with tongs, until slightly charred, about 12 minutes; set aside on a rack to let cool.

In a 2-qt. saucepan, bring the chicken broth and half-and-half to a gentle boil; remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and whisk until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the reserved chicken broth mixture. Add the corn, parsley, Worcestershire, port, cumin, chile powder, nutmeg, and hot sauce. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 15 minutes. Add the reserved onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the flavors meld, about 10 more minutes.

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