Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Yummy winter warmer - easy caramelised red onion and brie tarts

As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to cooking, simple and classic flavour combinations work the best.

If you take basic pairings (ie leeks and potatoes; cheese and onion; salmon and dill) and get the seasoning right, an easy dish can be transformed into something extra special.

This evening I wanted something vegetarian and light that I could have with salad, but something really tasty, warming and satisfying.

This week I have the privilege of having a week off as I prepare to start my new job, so I have a little extra time to think about what I’m going to cook and plan ahead. Funnily enough, this dish didn’t take a lot of planning and preparation at all, aside from taking a block of pastry out of the freezer the night before.

I’m not confident enough yet to make my own pastry, and frankly why should I? Even Jamie and Delia are telling us to use shop-bought pastry nowadays.

For my caramelised red onion and brie tarts (if you can call a square a tart?) I used half a pack of puff pastry because that’s what was in, but you could use shortcrust which would need pricking with a fork and blind baking for about ten minutes before adding the topping.

Serve with a salad
I fried a medium red onion along with a garlic glove, white wine vinegar, brown sugar and thyme, and prepared the pastry, before realising that I needed two onions as I’d forgotten how much they reduce when caramelised.

Once the onions were soft and sticky I piled them onto the pastry and topped each piece with a slice of brie. The tarts should take about 15 to 20 minutes in a 200 degree oven.

In my broken oven, however, they took 30 minutes at 250 degrees which has convinced me once and for all that we really need to get a new oven after Christmas.

Once they were done I was so desperate to try one that I burned the roof of my mouth, but it was worth it as they were very delicious, and Paul agreed, polishing off two each.  

So I’m thinking of doing some mini versions as canapés for a party I’m having in a couple of weeks, and I’m going to try different but simple flavour combinations such as cherry tomato, black olives, basil and feta. Yum yum!

Ingredients (Makes four)
2 tbsp olive oil for frying
2 medium-sized red onions
1 garlic glove, sliced
2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tbsp fresh)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp soft brown sugar
Ready rolled puff pastry
Large piece of brie

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Roll out pastry and cut into even squares. Score a 2cm border on the inside of each piece with a sharp knife and place onto a baking tray.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the onions on a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for five minutes.
Stir in the white wine vinegar and sugar, season, and cook for a further five minutes on a low heat until caramelised.
Put the onions onto the pastry, keeping within the borders, and add slices of brie and a few extra sprinkles of thyme. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the pastry is golden and risen.   

1 comment:

  1. Spoole, I'm totally making this recipe, I'm a bit obsessed with caramelised onions at the moment so definitely give it a try! Bond.xx