Thursday, October 22, 2009

Goat cheese and caramelized onions

(photo courtesy of Jeremy Salamon:

The latest victim for my monthly column was Dave Artigues of Elodie Farms in Rougemont. I visited with him and his herd of goats.  I also spent a Saturday morning with him at the Durham Farmers' Market.  That article should be in next Wednesday's Herald-Sun.  I was hoping it would be in yesterday's paper (Wednesday is food day), but I just couldn't compete with the State Fair winners.  C'est la vie.
I love goat cheese and had a really amazing slice of goat cheese onion tart at Vin Rouge a month or so ago.  I emailed the chef, practically begging for his recipe, but I still haven't heard from him.  I suppose I might not give away my recipes either if I were a real chef...  So I resorted to google, once again, and started my search for a suitable recipe. Once again, where on earth would I be without google and how did I survive for 40+ years without it.  I don't even want to contemplate that.  I doubt there were many recipes in the World Book Encyclopedia.

I finally found a recipe that sounded simple enough for moi and set about making it.  A wrinkle was thrown into my attempt at making it, though, when I discovered that my oven was not working.  I placed a quick call to the BFF, owner and occasional user of not one, but two ovens.  Not to be, however.  One of the ovens was not working at all and the other had just burned chocolate chip cookies.  So, we loaded up the tarts and headed over to Durham Academy Middle School and the oven in the faculty lounge.  Not that we middle school teachers lounge all that much, to tell the sad truth.  A bunch of us meet in there on Friday mornings for bagels or biscuits.  Computers have changed the way we interact, sadly, no matter how much I love this little brand spanking new MacBook Pro that replaced the one that died a few days ago.
Anyway, back to the tart-making.  The security guard made me swear to not leave the room while they baked.  Easy enough.  I don't trust ovens anyway.  I religiously set timers but don't really trust them either.  I have a deep-seated fear of burning my creations.  All ended well, though, and the tarts cooked up just right.  Unfortunately, one of them took a bit of a tumble on the way home and turned over onto the cookie sheet it was being transported on.  We ate that one for dinner, scrambled goat cheese and onion tart.  It was really good with a glass of Dr. Heyden's Riesling, though.  No photos of that one.  The second one was proudly paraded around and sampled by several friends.  It was met with praise.  I have very nice friends.  That's a fact.
But my oven is still not working.  Floyd is coming to look at it tomorrow.

Goat Cheese Caramelized Onion Tart
 (I doubled the ingredients so that I could make two tarts)

1 unbaked 9-in. pastry- I use the kind you roll out, found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store (this is what we used in Arles, so that is good enough for me)
2 medium Vidalia onions, halved and sliced, thinly, but not too thinly
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
4-6 oz. soft goat cheese, broken into several pieces (more if you want more of a goat cheese taste)
1 c. heavy cream
3 eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Transfer pie crust to deep pie plate.
Melt butter in medium pan; add olive oil and heat.  Add onions and saute until tender, lightly browned and beginning to caramelize (about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally).  Spread into pie crust.
Place remaining ingredients into a mixer bowl or blender and mix until incorporated.
Pour mixture over onions.
Bake in a 350 degree oven until puffed and golden, about 30-40 minutes, or until set.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
There may be a small amount of filling left over.  Pour into a small greased souffle dish and bake along with the tart for a chef's treat.

Serve with Pinot Gris or a dry Riesling.

Bon appétit, les chèvres!


Jeremy Salamon said...

Is that my goat picture? haha! love this blog, goat cheese tarts are very delicious. hope your oven gets fixed :)

The Sabbatical Chef said...

I am so glad you claimed the photo, my goat-cheese loving friend! I can't ever remember who took what!
No, the oven won't be fixed for about another 10 days. GRRRR How on earth am I supposed to bake???