Welcome to adobo-down-under!

Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tartlet of caramelised onions with clotted cheese and roasted tomato

It has been an exciting week!  After the fabulous day, my tweeting ability has multiplied a thousand fold.  Well, maybe exaggerating a little bit. But still learning.  This was in my twitter timeline on Friday" #ff.  And embarrassing as it may be to admit it, but I had to consult good ol' friend Google.   I'm hopeless, but will keep up.  Technology is amazing!

Now going back to the kitchen, these entrees were from last week's Lesson 4 in Kitchen 10.  Was on the roster for entrees/appetizers.  And this kept me going from 3-7pm.  It did take that long, including resting the dough, blind baking the pastry, making the clotted cheese, roasting the tomatoes and cooking the caramelised onion.    What made it exciting was cheese making and making the short crust pastry - a first time for this Pinoy chef wannabe.   And while its seems overwhelming to look at the long list of ingredients and to do's, this can be done in a home kitchen on a weekend.  Who say's multi-tasking is only for the corporate environment?

ready for service

Enough of the chit chat!  Let's get to work!  First things first!  Savoury short pastry!

125ml water
250g unsalted butter
500g flour
1/4 tsp salt

The basics of short savoury pastry: 1-2-4: meaning one part water, two parts fat, four parts flour.

Cut the butter into small cubes, and rub the flour with the butter in a large bowl until it resembles fine crumbs.  (This is something that doesn't happen in a rush.  You need to rub rub rub the flour and butter for a good 15-20 minutes to get good results.  You know you're done rubbing when there are no more big lumps of butter, instead of you have a bowl of grainy flour).

Add the salt and the water and mix together using your hands.  You will create a soft dough.  
Do not overwork.  

Wrap in cling plastic and rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

After resting, grease the tart pans with butter or oil spray. Line the pastry onto the pan, cutting edges with a kitchen scissor then press firmly.

the dough pressed onto 8cm disposable tins

 Cut out round or square baking paper and lay these onto the pastry.  Use baking beads or beans and pour these onto the pans.  Bake blind for 15-20 minutes in a 200*C preheated oven.

the pastry ready to be baked blind using mixed beans

The pastry is ready when they are golden and are easily lifted off the pan/molds.

Set aside to cool.

Its time to make the fillings!  Roasted tomatoes first!
5 large Roma tomatoes
1/4 bunch thyme
salt and pepper

Cut the tomatoes into quarter.  Season with salt and pepper and chopped thyme.  

Place on a baking sheet or roasting tray and slow roast at 140*C for approximately 40 minutes.

And while the tomatoes are roasting in the oven, prepare the caramelized onions.

200g (about 2 medium sized) Spanish onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
20g brown sugar
1/4 bunch basil
50ml olive oil
20ml balsamic vinegar

In a medium sized pan, sweat the onions with garlic and olive oil.

When cooked (onions have softened), add the sugar and caramelise, add vinegar and seasoning.   

Set aside in a plate or bowl and cool.

To serve: arrange the caramelised onions and roasted tomato in the pastry.  Serve topped with clotted cheese and some basil leaves. Or if you're not making the cheese, fresh ricotta or some crumbled feta would be just as great.

Have a great weekend everyone!  And while we're still coasting through the middle of November, best to get on with some Christmas shopping! 

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