Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thank You Smitten Kitchen: Part 1

You might have noticed by now but I love Smitten Kitchen. My birthday potluck was just another excuse to try some more of her fabulous recipes. Here is one for an onion tart that I love love loved and would definitely recommend it for any events or potluck you attend.

Onion Tart with Mustard and Fennel (from Smitten Kitchen)

What You Need
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (a 1/4-ounce package)
- 1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115°F)
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 3 pound yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or as much as you need)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

What You Do
1. Stir together yeast and warm water in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. 2. Put 1 1/2 cups flour in a medium bowl, then make a well in center of flour and add yeast mixture to well.
3. Stir together egg, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt with a fork.
4. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or your fingertips, gradually incorporating flour, until a soft dough forms.
5. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead, working in additional flour (up to 1/4 cup) as necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
6. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and turn to coat.
7. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
8. While dough rises, heat remaining 1/3 cup oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté fennel seeds until a shade darker, about 30 seconds.
9. Stir in onions, remaining teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover onions directly with a round of parchment paper (I was confused by this, but go with it! It works!).
10. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very tender and golden brown, 1 to 1 1/4 hours (I've never cooked onions this long... but it was amazing!).
11. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
12. Knead dough gently on a floured surface with floured hands to deflate.
13. Pat out dough on a large heavy baking sheet into a 15- by 12-inch rectangle, turning up or crimping edge. Note: I found this part of the recipe a bit difficult as my dough did not want to become a rectangle. No matter what the shape, though, the onions steal the show so do not worry.
14. Brush mustard evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edge.
15. Spread onions evenly over mustard, then sprinkle evenly with cheese.
16. Bake tart until crust is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
17. Cut into 2-inch squares or diamonds and serve warm or at room temperature.

I wish I had a picture to share but it was eaten so quickly, I couldn't get one!

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