Food ruts? Yes, I’m familiar. It really hits that you’re in the middle of a funk when a completely brilliant, original recipe or concept crosses your path. The simplicity. The beauty. You smack your forehead and cry out to the abyss “Of course! The bean IS the sauce! It all makes sense again, great merciful god above me!” Then you slide down from the euphoria and excitement into a bottomless pit of depression: “I am clearly incapable of such originality. I do not deserve this whisk. I shall curl into a ball and eat Kraft cheese products until my pants explode.”
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!
Cheesy Onion Tartlets
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.
Did anyone else just realize that Christmas is less than a week away? Even though I’m in the middle of posting all these holiday recipes, it only hit me last night as I was pouring over my gift-giving Google spreadsheet and realizing how many people I had left to shop/craft for this year. That’s right, folks. You may be the lucky recipient of a handmade, gold-filigree pine cone dipped in glitter and mounted on a stand composed of bedazzled Popsicle sticks and Play-Doh.
In other news….
Deb did it again, that clever girl. This isn’t one of her newer recipes, but it’s definitely a favorite amongst her many, many followers. And how could it not be? Joyous squash. Merry caramelized onions. Fancy sage leaves fluttering everywhere. It’s a sexy dance of flavors that may cause excessive selfishness and gluttony.
The only alteration I would make is to the cheese, which I thought was a bit melty with all fontina. Maybe half Gruyere and half fontina would strike the right balance for my gentle palate.
from Smitten Kitchen
1 1/4 c flour
1/4 t salt
1 stick butter, cut into 16 pieces
1/4 c sour cream
2 t lemon juice
1/4 c ice cold water
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-1″ dice
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced into half moon slivers
1 t salt
1/4 t cayenne
3/4 fontina cheese, grated (or half fontina, half Gruyere)
1 1/2 t chopped fresh sage leaves
For the pastry: In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. In a separate bowl place the cut butter. Place both bowls in the freezer for one hour. Remove and place flour/salt in a Cuisinart. Scatter the butter over and pulse (about 10 1-second pulses) until no large bits of butter appear (should appear like cornmeal). Place in a large bowl and make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, stir together the sour cream, lemon juice, and water, then add to the flour mixture. With a spatula, gently fold the liquid in until incorporated. Do not over mix! Remove lumps as they form so that you do not overdo them. Pat the dough into a ball inside the bowl, cover with saran wrap, and refrigerate for one hour.
For the filling: Preheat your oven to 375. Toss the squash with the olive oil and 1/2 t salt, then place in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender. Stir halfway through. Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed skilled and add onion slivers, 1/2 t salt, and sugar. Cook over low heat until soft and golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Stir in cayenne.
Raise oven temperature to 400. Mix squash, onions, cheese, and herbs together in a bowl. Set aside.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Place onto an ungreased baking sheet, spread squash mixture into the center (leave a 1 1/2″ border), and fold the edges over the squash. The center will be open and glorious. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown, melty, and delicious looking. Nom!