12 Holiday Food Comas: Cheesy Onion Tartlets

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Merry Christmas! This is my last holiday food coma post and I am looking forward to taking a nap. Not only because finding the perfect, most fabulous recipes for this fine piece of internet literature is exhausting, but also because my dear sister decided to text all of us at 5am to inform the masses that she was unable to sleep for most of the night and if we opened presents without her she would be emotionally wounded beyond all repair. So it goes.

I hope everyone who tuned in has enjoyed the holiday-themed goodies! This one was my attempt to come up with a tasty party snack that I envisioned being shuffled around elegantly on shining silver platters by waiters in bow ties and white gloves who would whisper seductively: “Tartlet, madame?”. In reality, they were slapped down on the kitchen table by yours truly with a gruff “Eat and tell me what you think.”

The response was much more promising than my introduction, luckily, so here it is!

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Cheesy Onion Tartlets
makes 12

1 roll crescent dough
5 shallots, diced fine
2 T butter
4 T cream cheese
2 T grated parmigiano
dash red pepper flakes
S&P to taste
1/4 c chopped arugula

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a mini muffin pan. Roll out the crescent dough into a 12″ x 8″ rectangle and cut into 12 uniform squares. Place the squares into the muffin pan, pushing down into the creases so that it forms a small cup. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When hot, add the shallots and cook until soft and brown, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese, parmigiano, S&P, and red pepper flakes in a medium-sized bowl. When the shallots are done caramelizing, remove from heat and let cool a few minutes. Mix into the cheeses until thoroughly combined. Spoon about a tablespoon into each muffin cup and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for about 20 minutes, remove from pan, top with arugula, and serve warm.

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12 Holiday Food Comas: Spinach Dip

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While the rest of the country has been suffering through a truly heinous winter with -50 degree winds, never-ending snow, and icy roads covered in car-degrading salt, Californians across the state have been horrified to hear their own fate: a low of 35 degrees. Heavens! When will our afflictions be over? Is there no god above to protect us from this hell?

Thankfully, we powered through and are back to just “chilly” (that’s what 60 degrees feels like to our delicate bodies). It’s a Christmas miracle that we came out alive and can appreciate the little things in life once more. Like food.

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I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate thing going on with spinach dip. Oh sure, it’s a wonderland of creamy, spinachy goodness, but you’ll always encounter a mega mayo fan who puts the ratio at 10:1 and ruins it. There’s nothing like a palate full of mayonnaise to remind you of how life was so good without it.

Obviously, it’s all based on personal preference, so my attempt is to go for more spinach, a touch of brie, and a kick with some spice. This isn’t a gooey recipe, so if you want more creaminess I would increase the sour cream by another half cup and maybe add some cream cheese chunks for a festivus flair.

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Spinach Dip

1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and chopped
2 lbs frozen, chopped spinach, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c sour cream
2 green onions, sliced finely
2 triangles of brie
1/4 c shredded parmigiano cheese
1 t dry mustard
1 t paprika
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 t salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9″x 13″ baking pan. Press the spinach in a dish towel to get out as much moisture as possible. In a large bowl, mix the spinach, artichokes, parmigiano, sour cream, green onions, mustard, paprika, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cut the brie triangles into 1/2″ — 1″ chunks and layer half onto the bottom of the baking pan. Spread the spinach on top and layer the rest of the brie on top of that. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until brown on top. Serve hot with sliced baguette, crackers, etc.

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In-N-Out Animal Style Potato Wedges

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Oh. Good. Lord. If this doesn’t have crack written all over it more than crack itself does, then you can slap me. In the face. Because I just had the most delicious ride on the tasty train and let me tell you: I am buying another round trip ticket.

I will also be purchasing some stretchy, elastic-waistband pants to accommodate my soon-to-be mammoth size. I can smell the glory now.

I didn’t want to do animal style fries or a burger, and potato wedges sounded so…hearty. Because that’s what this meal needed– more substance. And boy….mission accomplished.

Make extra onions or else you’ll be fighting over the last morsels (1 onion per person). This recipe makes enough of everything for 3-4 people.

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In-N-Out Animal Style Potato Wedges

sauce recipe from Serious Eats

6 slices American cheese
Sauce
2.5 T mayo
1 heaping tablespoon ketchup
3 t sweet relish
1/2 t white vinegar
1/2 t sugar
Onions
3 large yellow onion, diced very fine
2 t vegetable oil
Potato wedges
3 large Russet potatoes
1 T salt

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and salt and reduce heat to medium low. Continue to cook, about 25-30 minutes, until brown and starting to really caramelize. Add 1 T water and cook off (about 1 minute), until the onions are melty. Do this a few times.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425. Scrub the potatoes, cut into wedges (cut each in half, then 4 wedges per half), and soak in water for 10 minutes. Dry completely a with paper towel, place on a baking sheet, and toss with the oil and salt. Bake for 20 minutes with a cut-side down, flip, and bake another 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients. When the potatoes and onions are done, layer on an oven-proof ceramic plate:

  1. Potatoes
  2. Cheese
  3. Onions

Place that back in the oven and heat until the cheese starts to melt, a couple of minutes. Add a few dollops of sauce on top and serve immediately. Sit back and watch the smiles pour in from your audience of admirers.

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