2 large onions (about 1½ pounds), sliced thin
2 tablespoons olive oil
butter pastry dough for a single crust 12 inch tart (recipe follows)
½ pound dry Jack or Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
½ pound plum tomatoes cut into ½ inch wedges
½ pound medium yellow tomatoes (about 2) or ½ pound plum tomatoes, cut into ½ inch wedges
¼ cup Niçoise olives, pitted
In a large, heavy skillet cook onions with salt to taste in oil, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove lid and cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden and any liquid evaporates. Remove skillet from heat to cool onions slightly.
Preheat oven to 370 degrees.
On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin roll dough into a 14 inch round (about 1/8 thick). Fold round in half and transfer to a 12-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim or a 12 inch quiche dish. Unfold dough, easing to fit, and trim overhang to 3/4 inch. Fold overhang toward center and press against side of pan or dish. Spread onion mixture over dough and top with cheese. Arrange tomato wedges and olives in concentric circles over cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Bake tart in middle of oven 1 hour, or until pastry is golden, and cool on a rack. Remove rim of pan if necessary.
Serve tart warm or at room temperature. Serves 12 to 16 as part of buffet.
Butter Pastry Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
6 to 7 tablespoons ice water.
Throw first three ingredients into food processor and mix. While mixing, add water slowly, till ingredients form a ball of dough. (It might not all adhere in a single ball; don’t overdo it, or you’ll break your machine.) Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour. Pastry dough may be made 1 week ahead and chilled. Makes enough dough for a single crust 12 inch tart.
1. I find that this pastry dough recipe always makes enough for more than one 12 inch tart.
2. If you cover roll out the dough with a layer of plastic wrap between the dough and the rolling pin, nothing sticks, and the whole thing makes the expression “easy as pie” meaningful. (Other wise “easy as pie” is a cruelly sadistic culinary seduction to all young brides. Pie crusts can be frustrating and difficult!!)
3. You can mix and match the cheeses. No need to stick with these stipulations. A mixture of Gruyere and Jack or Mozzarella is also good.
4. Various kinds of olives work with this. I like pungent black (Greek) olives on this tart, even though I'm not so fond of them plain.
5. This tart comes out better if the shell is baked first, separately, before filling it. That way, the shell stays wonderfully crisp and yummy. To bake an unfilled tart shell, roll out the dough, lay it out in the tart pan, then line dough with tin foil, then fill the foil covering with weights (no need for real weights; a bag of beans will do, and you can save these beans and use them over and over again as weights for future tart shells), then bake at 425 for ten minutes. Then, remove the weights and the foil carefully, and bake the uncovered shell another 3 to 5 minutes, till dry and golden. Don’t let it burn!!
(Do you wonder about the weights? Here’s why you need them. If the dough gets cooked unweighted, it’ll bubble up, and you lose your tart shape. You’ll end up with a roller-coaster shaped piece of useless pastry.)
Grandma Rose's Noodle Pudding
1 bag of wide egg noodles cooked and drained
3 eggs beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 lb pot style cottage cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup of raisins
8 oz. can of crushed pineapple
2 apples, grated
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon (more if desired)
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick of butter
Mix drained noodles with cottage cheese, eggs, sugar, salt, raisins, vanilla, spices, pineapple, and apple.
Melt butter in 10x15 baking pan in oven at low temperature. Place noodle mixture in baking pan. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for an additional 1/2 hour.
Tastes best at room temperature or chilled.
Cheese Blintz Casserole
2 pkgs. frozen blintz
1 stick butter or margarine
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter/margarine in a lasagna-size pan in the oven. When the butter is melted, arrange frozen blintzes in a single layer in the pan. Beat the eggs, sour cream and sugar together until light and fluffy. Pour mixture over blintzes. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand, cooling slightly. Cut into squares and serve.
Yield 6-8 servings. Suggest 6 cheese and 6 blueberry blintzes.
Challah Bread Pudding
3 large eggs
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1.25-ounce packet raspberry-flavored hot cocoa mix
1-1/2 cups half-and-half
8 slices day-old challah, torn into 2" pieces
3 ounces white chocolate chips
3 ounces milk chocolate chips
whipped cream or ice cream, optional
In a large bowl, combine eggs, confectioners' sugar, brown sugar and cocoa mix; whisk in half-and-half. Stir in bread pieces, and mix to combine thoroughly; let bread soak in custard for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8"x8" baking pan. Stir all of the chocolate chips into the bread mixture, and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let pudding rest for 10 minutes; cut in half, then cut each half into 4 portions. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.
Makes 8 servings.
"Fried" Ice Cream Torah Scrolls
1 pint coffee ice cream
1 cup Nilla wafers, ground fine
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
chocolate sauce, for drizzling
whipped cream, optional
Divide ice cream into 4-1/3-cup scoops; form each into a 4" log, place onto a Silpat-lined tray and freeze for 30 minutes or until firm.
Combine the ground wafers, sugar and cinnamon on a plate; roll each ice cream log in the mixture until well-coated, place onto a tray and freeze for 30 minutes until firm.
Re-roll the ice cream logs in remaining crumbs, and re-freeze until ready to serve.
Take out 2 dessert plates and place 2 logs onto each plate; drizzle with chocolate sauce and top with whipped cream, if desired.
Serves 2, but the recipe doubles or triples easily.
(If you really want to go for the gusto, place frilled toothpicks into each end of the ice cream logs to complete the look of Torah scrolls!)