Saturday, April 23, 2011

I think my problem is caused by the pound cake I made know the one with a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of  flour and a pound of eggs? Yep, that one.  I ate a  piece last night and then I woke up this morning and there it was waiting for me. A little nibble here, a little nibble there....whoops, I ate it all!
Luckily there wasn't a whole cake to begin with; most of it had been eaten last night by my guests, the Somerset Ridge Painters and their spouses. But even 2 inches of a pound cake can kill you.....but what a way to go, eh?
So now I seek something savory! I have had all the sugar I can stand.

What I am dreaming about is a French recipe that I find absolutely delicious.

                     Roquefort and Caramelized Onion Tart

1 layer pastry dough
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2/3 cup Roquefort cheese, crumbled
4 eggs
1 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Fit the pastry into a deep-dish pie pan. Line the pastry with parchment paper, fill it with dry beans, and then bake it for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the beans.
In a large skillet set over low heat, melt the butter and cook the onions in it for 20 minutes, until they're tender. Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the sugar across the onions. Sauté the onions and sugar until the mixture turns golden brown.
Layer the caramelized onions and crumbled Roquefort cheese onto the bottom layer of the pastry. Beat together the eggs, half and half, salt, and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the onions and cheese. Bake the tart for 35-40 minutes, until the eggs are set in the middle. Cool slightly and serve.
This Roquefort and caramelized onion tart makes 8 servings.

Yes, this is another quiche....and a very good one. This classic Roquefort and caramelized onion tart recipe is layered with complex flavors: salty, piquant cheese, mellow, sweet onions, and rich eggs and cream. Baked into a flaky pastry shell, the combination is nothing less than irresistible. Originally from the caves of Mont Combalou, tangy Roquefort cheese is protected by the first ever A.O.C., or controlled term of origin. If you can't find true Roquefort in your market, ask your grocer for a good quality blue cheese.

Okay, so it is pretty high in calories and fat, and after the pound cake, what I really should have is a glass of tomato juice....let's see....Roquefort and Caramelized Onion Tart or tomato juice? Gosh, decisions, decisions!
 There is another caramelized onion tart that is pretty darned good also. Only this one uses red onions.

These simple yet impressive tarts are a perfect hors d’oeuvre for your Spring and Easter buffet and they pair beautifully with a green salad as a light lunch or vegetarian dinner.

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large red onions, finely sliced
1/3 cup fig or plum jam
1 cup crumbled Stilton or other blue cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups mixed mushrooms (criminis, shitakes and enoki, etc.)
1 package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine two tablespoons of the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook over a medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring often, until the onions caramelize and turn golden.
Add the plum jam to the onions and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool. Mix the crumbled Stilton into the onions.
In a separate sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil and butter over high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until all of the moisture has evaporated from the pan and the mushrooms begin to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper and remove the mushrooms from the heat.
Cut 4 circles from each puff pastry sheet using a large biscuit or cookie cutter. Place the pastry discs on a silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet and prick each circle with a fork in a few places. Spread two tablespoons of the mushroom mixture onto the bottom of each disc, leaving about 1/2-inch rim of the pastry uncovered.
Spread equal amounts of the onion mixture over the mushrooms. Bake the tarts about 15 minutes, till the uncovered pastry rim has risen to form a pastry cup, the pastry is golden brown and the Stilton is bubbling.
Makes 8 Mini Tarts

Okay, I'm going to go have my tomato juice now.....damn!

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
oil painting by Kay Tucker

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek
Oil Painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection


oil painting by Kay Tucker

Kansas Storm

Kansas Storm
oil painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor Collage

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time
48"x36" sculptural painting by Kay Tucker