Saturday, September 29, 2007

HHDD #15: Tartes Tatins of Caramelized Red Onion and Goat’s Cheese

For every round of Hay Hay it's Donna Day!, I have tried to stick, not only to the theme, but also to the whole DonnaHayness of it all. Not that you have to. Technically, you can use either the recipe posted by the host, and tweak and twiddle to your liking, or you can go with your own recipe (from wherever you want) that still is within the theme. But no, like the mad DonnaFan that I am I always have pretty much stuck with her recipes.

But not this round. Oi. It feels almost like a betrayal. I’m so sorry Donna! There is no logical reason why my eyes wandered. I know you have so many tart recipes for me to choose from (asparagus and ricotta tarts, Donna Hay Magazine, issue 29; a whole feature on light + crisp spring tarts, Donna Hay Magazine, issue 23 – fabulous!; a whole pies + tarts section in Modern Classic 1, eggplant and potato tarts, Entertaining, p. 95; goat’s cheese tarts, Instant Entertaining, p. 66; leek and ricotta tarts, Instant Entertaining, p. 94), and a number of them actually onion tarts (onion tart with sage, The New Cook, p.73; caramelized onion and anchovy tarts, Donna Hay Magazine, issue 34; onion, anchovy, and olive tarts, Modern Classic 1). And those are only savory tarts…don’t even get me started on all the sweet ones!

So why, oh why, did my attention turn to…Gordon Ramsay??? And no, it wasn’t his legendary charm, blazing sex appeal, and kindly manner.

It was his tartes tatins -- the allure of the “upside-down preparation” coupled with the undeniable sexiness of a French name.

Tartes Tatins of Caramelized Red Onion and Goat’s Cheese
(adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe in Delicious magazine, November 2006 issue)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 750 grams red onions
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 150 grams goat’s cheese
  • 1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
  • A couple of thyme sprigs

- Slice the onions into thin half-moons.
- Heat oil in a pan and add onions. Cook slowly, stirring so onions do not burn, until they start to get soft and caramelized. Add balsamic vinegar and thyme sprigs (saving some for garnish) and stir until the vinegar has mellowed.
- Divide onions between the holes of a 12-hole muffin pan. Top each hole with goat’s cheese (saving some for garnish).
- Thaw puff pastry (in the package it says thaw for 5 minutes, in my hot kitchen it took less then a minute…so watch it!) and cut out discs that will fit snugly over the filling in the muffin pan.
- Place pastry discs in the muffin holes and press down firmly.
- Bake in a 200C oven for about 10 minutes or until pastry is crisp and golden. Remove from oven and stand for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Top with remaining goat’s cheese and thyme leaves.

The balsamic vinegar was my addition and I used regular muffin pans while Gordon used mini ones. I also increased the recipe accordingly to fit the bigger size. This was my first time to use ready-made puff pastry and I was quite excited. I must have been a little too excited though because, as you can tell in the photo, it is tad pale and not the golden brown that I was hoping it would be. Criminy. Was that my karma for forgoing Donna for Gordon? I hope not! I’ll just cook it longer (or hotter) next time…and despite the paleness of the pastry the tarts were a success at the small dinner we had last night.

Don’t forget to check the round up of tart creations at Trinigourmet, where our lovely host Sarina is hosting this round of Hay Hay it’s Donna Day!

And Donna: you know I still love you best :)


Meeta said...

WOW! This is my kind of tart. Love the flavors of onions and cheese. The goats cheese would be perfect for this. Joey nice one!

katrina said... looks like I'd love this! Caramelized onions, cheese, and puff pastry are all things that I adore. And I'm sure Donna does, too, so I think she'll forgive you. ;-)

Franco said...

The little tarts are adorable, Joey.

Donna will forgive. In the end, it's all about the food. :)

aria said...

no no no, they look like they are cooked just perfectly. let me imaginary taste... yes just right!

now look what you have done to me, i'm a mess over these. i need to make them. the picture is just beautiful too!

Anh said...

The color is so vibrant! I love these. Can you save some for me? :P

Manggy said...

You used Pampas puff pastry from Santi's Joey? They rise quite a bit, I was wondering if you docked the pastry before baking so it wouldn't rise so much. I love onions as you know ergo I love your tarts!

Brilynn said...

Winner! I love the sounds of these tarts!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Joey those look smashingly good. . . oh my yest do save some for me. Red Onion, Balsamic and goat cheese . . . always at the top of my all time favorite taste list! Excellent.

Rasa Malaysia said...

Delicious...yes, Donna Hay rocks. I especially love the photography style on her clean, crisp and minimalist. I always try to "copy" the style. LOL.

Pille said...

These look absolutely stunning, Joey! And with caramelised onions and cheese, these must taste fabulous as well. The only thing keeping me from flying over to eat one of those is those 2 large baskets of wild mushrooms we foraged today (and which I need to clean before I go to sleep:)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What wonderful savory Tatin Tarts! Gorgeous and hyper tasty! Goat's cheese goes perfectly well with that dish...

margauxlicious said...

this looks so good. and i love cheese.

ps crack on ramsay being blazingly sexy lol

Tartelette said...

Perfect! I am adding the recipes to my favorites. The picture is just breathtaking!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Meeta! Thanks :) This is just my type of tart too!

Hi Katrina! I know this combination is something you would like and you did enter my mind when I was making them! This would make great cocktail food don't you think ;)

Hi Franco! Thank you :) Yes, I'm sure she will...she has tons of gorgeous tart recipes too so I am sure she would love these :)

Thanks Aria! I just wished for more golden-ness in the crust...but they were yummy :) And a snap to make!

Hi Anh! I will! :)

Hi Manggy! Yes, I did use Pampas...I have no clue what "docked" means, but Gordon did say to roll up/scrunch the pastry and re-roll to avoid it puffing too much, which he wanted to avoid here. I did want it to be more golden brown though!

Thanks Brilynn! :)

Hi Tanna! I'll save one for you and for Angelika and hopefully one day we can all get together! :)

Hi Bee! Me too! Or at least I try my best to "copy" it ;) Her "eye" for food styling is amazing and I love the way her recipes are so simple but so flavorful as well :)

Thanks Pille! Come on over...and bring those mushrooms! :)

Hi Rosa! To be perfectly honest, I didn't use the entire 150 grams of goat's cheese in these tarts because some kept sneakily ending up in my mouth!

Thanks Margaux! Hehe...I know, "Hell" is "blazing" enough as it is!

Thanks Helene! Glad you like it! :)

Peabody said...

You get my vote!

Ivonne said...

I don't think Donna will mind, Joey! Those are just gorgeous ... Joey for Donna Hay president!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Peabody! :)

Haha! Thanks Ivonne :) Donna just loves these sort of tarts so I don't think she'll mind either ;)

katiez said...

They look fantastic! What an interesting way of using puff pastry. And anything with goat cheese goes on my list!

christine said...

OOhhlala this is so my type! If Donna read this, she'd be applauding you right now, Jo. I'm sure of it, even if it wasn't her recipe. And I'm so proud of you, is this your first work with puff pastry? It looks so professionally made!

ChichaJo said...

Hey Katiez! I love goat's cheese too...and it is awesome with caramelized onions! :)

Hi Nens! It looks professionally made because half of it actually is! The puff pastry is ready made already so putting this together is a snap :)

TriniGourmet said...

Thanks so much for taking part in this month's round of Hay Hay it's Donna Day :) The roundup should be posted later today or tomorrow :D Stay Tuned!

Barbara said...

A wonderful combination Joey. Thanks for joining HHDD.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Sarina! Thank you for coming up with a great theme :) I'll be checking out the round-up soon!

Hi Barbara! Thank you :) I had fun as usual :)

Mansi Desai said...

wow!! Goat cheese and you got me hooked!! Caramelized onions and goat cheese pizza is our fav, so I'm sure this tart would taste great too:)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mansi Desai! Thank you :) It really is such a good combination :)