December 18, 2002

Onion Tart

Wednesday is cooking night for me. And TV night (although this time of year, it's bound to be repeats). If I'm lucky I'll have available:
- Junkyard Wars
- Gilmore Girls (TiVoed from Tuesday)
- Nova (ditto)
- Good Eats (Alton Brown is my hero, check out his book I'm Just Here for the Food)
- Enterprise
- West Wing
- South Park
And if that list doesn't show off a whore-like attitude towards television, I don't know what will.

In any case, I usually cook with the more trashy shows in the background, and sit down to watch the better fare while eating. Tonight I'm going to make an Onion Tart with some leftovers from the party, and a "weed salad" with some greens I've got hanging about. I'll probably whip up a lemon dressing for the salad, as I have a pile of leftover lemons that will go to waste unless I start using them soon.

The Onion Tart is a nice quick recipe that also looks/tastes great. It's basically one that Michel Richard (he of the late "Bistro M" in San Francisco and "Citrus" in Los Angeles. Both of which I've eaten at. Both of which are closed. Sob. If you are around Washington DC, check out his "Citronelle".) showed off in a "Cooking with Julia" show. A round of puff pastry is rolled out, and then heavily docked in the middle. Onions are diced, then sweated slowly to cook through (15-20 minutes). After cooling a bit, sour cream or creme fraiche is mixed in. Salt, pepper, thyme are the seasonings. The resulting mixture is spread on top of the tart. Blanched bacon lardons are scattered on top. Baked at 375 for about 45 minutes.

It's simple, but impressive looking. The taste is a great blend of sweet, smokey, salty, and sour. The texture has the crunch of the puff pastry and the heavy custard-like thickness of the filling. If you've got the puff pasty on hand (I do, as I made it for the party, using two pounds of Plugra butter in the process) its delightfully fast and easy to put together.

I make a vegetarian version of this using one of my neatest "food hacks". Rather than bacon, I use cold smoked red bell peppers which I then slice into thin matchsticks. They sort of channel bacon in color and flavor, without being meat.

Posted by dowdy at December 18, 2002 04:56 AM