Our recipe called for frozen pearl onions & I only found fresh. What do I need to do to the fresh ones?
Fresh ones will require peeling, and probably slightly longer cooking, as the freezing process tends to break down some of the cell membranes. The frozen ones are typically pre-peeled.
The easiest way I've found to peel pearl onions is to score them accross the top in an X pattern with a paring knife, dip them in a pot of boiling water for 15 seconds or so, shock in an ice bath. Then, one by one, grab them by the stem-end, and squeeze gently -- the onions will typically pop right out of the peels!
Again, depending on the dish, you may have to cook them a little bit longer. If it's a fast saute or stir fry, you may want to leave them in the boiling water for another 30-60 seconds when you're peeling them to soften them up more. If it's a long braised or stewed dish, I wouldn't bother.
Peel them and you are ready to go!
Onions tend to soften when they un freeze, so if you only get fresh ones you can always rinse them for 15 minutes in boiling water or if you have a couple of days, put them in the freezer :-) there you go, frozen pearl onions for you!