“Why do people even bother having parties if they don’t make sure they have good lighting?”
I believe this is a question I posed on Friday as I was working on my lighting for the Christmas dinner party we had on Sunday night. I think I said it as if I was trying to be ironic, but I might actually believe this. Great lighting adds so much to the mood and coziness of a party. It makes people comfortable. It makes people happy.
With this in mind, I spent an hour or so working on a “light sculpture” on Friday night. I basically just looped Christmas lights around my existing light fixture. It created great lighting and was a bit hit with my guests!
On Monday, I made these delicious onion tarts in order to use up some some of the extra onions we have leftover from Thanksgiving. I think we had five large purple onions and a whole bag of small yellow onions (we still have plenty left, anyone need some onions?) Although it took awhile to make the dough, caramelize the onions, and do the assembly, the tarts were really easy to make.
These would make for an impressive hors d’oeuvre for a party!
Tip: Since you’re already caramelizing onions for this, my recommendation is to make some extra and keep them in a ball jar in the fridge. I cut up an entire extra purple onion for this, and just had a piece of toast with the stuff. So good!
Eek! The onions hurt my eyes. I should have gotten out some safety goggles or turned on a fan.
It’s pizza in a tart shape. Yum! Note that you could pretty much fill these with anything: pasta sauce and mozerella; goat cheese and tomato; chorizo and chihuahua. It would all be good.
To make these beautiful little onion tarts, you’ll need about 1.75 hours. It’s a lot of time, but it’s worth it!
1 batch of dough made with the Joy of Cooking pizza dough recipe. Note that if you’re using salted butter for browning the onions, you should cut the salt in half for the pizza dough recipe.
1 very large purple onion
1.5 tablespoons of butter (I used salted butter)
.75 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of shredded gouda
1 cup of shredded mozzarella
Muffin tins or small muffin-sized ramekins for a ten tarts
Start by making the pizza dough using the Joy of Cooking recipe linked above. Again, if you’re using salted butter for the onions, cut the salt in half.
While your dough is rising,which takes about an hour, dice the onions and add them to a frying pan. I used my enameled cast iron skillet.
Add the butter and olive oil to the same pan and then set the heat to medium-low. Cook the onions until they caramelize and turn a deep brown. This will take 45 minutes to an hour.
When the pizza dough is ready, roll it out to be about the thickness of about two or three stacked quarters (a.k.a. 25 cent pieces) in thickness
Cut the dough into circles with a 4 inch diameter, give or take. I used the top of my Bodum french press to do this, which is kind of funny. Basically, you just need a circle of the right size to use as a cutter or to cut around.
Spray you muffin tins (or ramekins) with cooking spread and then lay the dough circles into them. You just want to press the dough into the muffin tin so it follows the contour of it.
Mix the gouda and mozzarella together and then add about one tablespoon of the cheese mixture into each dough cup.
Add about one tablespoon of the caramelized onions into each dough cup.
Top each little proto-tart with a tablespoon or so of the cheese mixture.
Cook at 450 degrees for approximately 18 minutes (or until the tarts look fully browned)
And that’s it! The tarts keep pretty well in the refrigerator. Just zap them in the microwave for about 15 seconds or heat them in the oven for a few minutes to revitalize them.