Jason Alley uses rice as a thickener in this decadent and rustic soubise (an onion puree), loaded with cheese and smoky onions. It's delicious with roasted or smoked meats. More Onion Recipes
Assemble the smoker by spreading 1/2 cup small, dry hardwood chips over the bottom of the smoker, then place the drip tray and rack directly on the chips. (To jury-rig a smoker, line a wok or disposable aluminum baking pan with heavy-duty foil and spread with dry wood chips; top with another layer of foil—to catch drips—and a rack. Cover the wok or pan by sealing it tightly with a lid or sheet of foil.)
Preheat the oven to 325°. Place a sheet of foil on the smoker rack; poke holes all over. In a well-ventilated area, set the smoker over high heat. When smoke rises from all sides, spread the onion over the foil. Cover and smoke for 45 seconds. Remove the onion.
In a saucepan of boiling water, cook the rice for 3 minutes; drain. In an enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened. Add the rice, cream and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Cover and bake until the onion is tender, 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 400°. Stir the cheese into the onion and bake for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; garnish with the chives.
Stovetop smokers and wood chips can be ordered online at cameronscookware.com.