So, my fiancee, Lee, is in hir first year of law school. This is exciting, for all the many opportunities it will open up for hir and for us. However, it is also very difficult because, not only is ze busy all the time, ze is also spending several nights a week away from home: the law school is about a 1 1/2 hours’ drive away from our home, and it is easier for hir to just stay there on nights when ze has classes the next day.
So, this last Sunday, I was having fun planning the night’s menu. I wanted to make something special, because Lee was leaving the next day for several days, and I wanted to send hir off with some delicious leftovers to carry hir through the next week.
The night’s meal ended up being some eggplant, smoked mozzarella and basil rolls; my Grandmother’s recipe for Texas Cauliflower; and two kinds of cookies: milk chocolate chunk and butterscotch chip (recipes to follow in later posts). A good, warm, comforting fall meal line-up, if I do say so myself. Couple it with a salad made from dark greens and a red bell pepper, and you’ve got a healthy, delicious mealtime experience.
But there was still one recipe that I just couldn’t say no to: Caramelized Onion Tarts with Goat Cheese. So, I sheepishly looked up from the page of the cookbook in which I found the recipe (Vegetarian, edited by Nicola Graimes) and said “Sweetie, you know, I think I might make this one, too.” I sheepishly pointed down at the recipe.
“Of course you will, Boo,” said Lee, grinning. “You are such a gay boi.”
I laughed heartily: I couldn’t deny it.
I am glad that I am such a gay boi that I couldn’t resist the alluring, summoning call of these goat-cheese-and-caramelized-onion-tarts, because they turned out so well. Seriously. Make this recipe. You will be glad you did.
Note: I never make recipes exactly as they appear in books. What I will be posting on this blog are the recipes as I make them, with any hints and tips worked into the instructions, in the hope that even difficult-sounding recipes can be easy to make with success.
Caramelized Onion Tarts with Goat Cheese
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 T butter
- 1 oz. aged goat cheese (I recommend Drunken Goat, available at your friendly neighborhood Wegmans store), grated
For the filling
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 T butter
- 3 red onions, very finely sliced
- 8 oz. young goat cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 T light cream
- 2 oz. firm goat cheese (like Drunken Goat), grated
- 1 T fresh tarragon, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To make the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the cheese and just enough cold water to make a dough. Knead lightly, put in a plastic bag and chill. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper, then cut into eight rounds using a 4 1/2″ pastry cutter, and line eight 4-inch tart pans or ramekins. Prick the bottoms with a fork (four or five pricks per tart, and no laughing at that, because it’s true…) and bake for 10-15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 F. Set aside.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium high heat. Add the onions, stir quickly until they are evenly coated, and reduce heat as low as possible. Cover and cook, stirring every few minutes, until they are soft and deep golden brown: this can take from 30 to 60 minutes. Be sure to stir often enough to prevent burning.
- Beat the young goat cheese with the eggs, cream, firm goat cheese and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the onions.
- Pour the mixture into the partially-baked pastry shells and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until golden. Serve warm or cold with a green salad.