Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Caramelised onion and French goats cheese tartlets

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The weather in this part of the world is turning cold and wintry and its our first Autumn since we've moved out into the suburbs so I'm quite enjoying the fall colours around us. We drove around a bit last weekend to take in the colours and was completely in awe of how gorgeous the Chilterns were. The mist started rolling in out of nowhere and I couldn't help but stop and take some pictures. Even more impressed with my new OnePlus 2 phone camera that has done justice to the scene. I just shot these on HDR mode, no post processing or filters and some pretty cool features to play around with.
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Moving on to today's recipe, goats cheese is not something I've always loved. It was more like an acquired taste and now I've begun to enjoy it quite a bit. That said, it doesn't make its way through to my dishes at home that often and its only when a recipe particularly calls for it, that i pick it up. I had no idea there were a few varieties of goats cheese until The French Goats Cheese team got in touch explaining about the different varieties available and most importantly how versatile they were. Till now, all i knew was it was used it salads. I couldn't be more wrong- you can whip them up for a mousse, melt on vegetables, spread on toasts and so on. 
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One of my favourite ways to comsume goats cheese is to slice up a fresh baguette, toast it lightly, crumble some goats cheese and top with a slice of roasted pear with honey and thyme. Its delicious and you just cant stop at one. I was put forth with a challenge to encourage people to think outside the box when it comes to using French Goat's cheese. I don't know if this recipe can be called thinking outside the box, but it worked wonders for us. Caramelised onions and goats cheese is a match made in heaven and I couldn't think of a better way to put the cheese that was sent to me to good use.
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The Crottin de Chavignol is slightly crumbly but gorgeous, and was used in my pear crostini. The Valencay, a creamy white soft cheese is perfect in salads, but i decided to use it atop my tart and the mini log which is the most popular was used up melted on a toast. To discover more about French Goat's cheese and recipe inspiration please visit the website.

Recipe inspiration here
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Olive oil- 2 tbsp
White onions- 2 large, thinly sliced
Dark brown sugar- 2 tbsp
Thyme- a few sprigs (dried or fresh)
Salt and pepper- to taste
White wine vinegar- 2 tbsp

Puff pastry- 1 sheet, thawed and rolled out to a rectangle and about 1 inch thick (I got a ready rolled one)
Goats cheese- around 100gms, crumbled (I used Valencay, a French goats cheese)
Milk- 2 tbsp, to brush the pastry
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Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on low-medium heat, and throw in the onions.
Cook till they soften and turns a golden brown in colour, but doesn't burn. This could take around 15 to 20 minutes.
Keep stirring in between to prevent the onions from sticking to the bottom.
Once you attain the brown colour, add the dark brown sugar and mix well with the onions.
Continue cooking to allow the sugar to caramelise and the colour to change to a darker brown, another 10 minutes or so. Again make sure you keep stirring to stop the onions from burning.
Pour in the vinegar and de-glaze the pan after which you add the thyme, and season with salt and pepper.
Give a good stir and take the mix off the heat. Keep aside.
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Preheat oven to 100C and cut out 8 circles or rectangles from the rolled out puff pastry.
Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and score the outer edge of the pastry, about 1 in inside with a sharp knife. Don't go all the way to the base, this is to just give a sort of rim.
Brush all over with the milk and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or till golden brown and puffed.
Remove from the oven and press down the inner circle leaving the outer in tact. This sort of gives it a vol-au-vent look.
Fill the pastry cases with caramelised onions and top with the crumbled goats cheese.
Place it back in the oven for another 10 minutes, after which you can take it out and serve warm.
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Notes: The caramelising bit takes a bit of time, I agree which is why its a good idea to do it a day or so ahead and use as required for the tarts
Instead of making tartlets, you can of course use the entire puff pastry as it is and once done slice into squares and serve.
White wine vinegar can be replaced with red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar.

With thanks to French Goats Cheese for sending over samples and accompaniments. 

1 comments:

Jayanthi Sindhiya said...

Omg it looks lovely. The photos looks like a heaven