The truth is I have a whole list of ideas of things to write about, but I keep forgetting to take photos, or I have just been letting the blog slip to the very bottom of my to-do list. Because even if I love it, it is work. But it's worthwhile work- I've seriously felt like something was missing from my life in the last couple of months when I've rarely found the time to write.
Mostly, I've missed posting my recipes. I'm not sure how useful it is for all of you (I do hope you cook from them now and then!), but I find my own list of recipes to be an extremely useful resource - for selfish purposes. These are the things that I cook again and again, and having them here, all on one page, is the most convenient way to access my own recipes. So I've determined that even if I fall away from the blog a bit- perhaps on the German cultural observations and the Munich tips (which could be endless, but are already covered in great length in the links above) - I will endeavor to at least keep on with the cooking. And I'll also try to keep my list of restaurant recommendations as up-to-date as possible. That sound okay? It's my way of compromising with myself...
So back to the food. I've been traveling a fair bit lately and what that means is that I often come home to an empty refrigerator. This week, after a two week holiday in the U.S., my refrigerator held little more than a bag of onions, butter, some condiments, a few bottles of beer, and a bottle of water that had long gone flat. Exciting stuff. But then I remembered that I had a roll of puff pastry in the freezer... and that changed everything. Because onion tart tatin requires little more than onions, pastry, and butter, and boy is it delicious (okay, so there's some honey and vinegar in there too, but those are staples that you should have in your cupboard anyway).
This was my second time making the tart, and I wouldn't change a thing.
Onion Tart Tatin
Adapted from www.redonline.co.uk
This is a very simple recipe. It requires only a sturdy frying pan that can also be put in the oven, and a few ingredients that you can find almost anywhere. I provide here the basic recipe, but it can be easily modified. For instance, I like to use sage honey in the recipe. Go ahead and try other types of honey! I also made it the second time with chunks of elephant garlic interspersed between the onions. I can imagine that blue cheese or camembert would go nicely as well, or maybe even take it in a sweeter, more traditional direction by adding apples or pears. I can also advise that the basic tart pairs very well with a simple arugula and blue cheese salad.
One bag of onions (red onions are delicious but any should work), approx 5-6 onions, peeled and quartered
50 g (1/2 stick) butter
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
250 g (one large sheet) ready rolled puff pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 375F/180C.
2. Melt the butter in a large frying pan with a metal handle. Add the onions, laying them in a neat design in the pan, and fry over medium heat for about five minutes.
3. Add the honey and vinegar and cook for a further five minutes, moving and shaking the pan occasionally so the onions do not stick to the pan. But don't mess up your pattern, remembering you will be inverting the tart. Season well with salt and pepper
4. Roll out the pastry on to a lightly floured surface and cut into a circle slightly larger than the diametre of the frying pan. I like to double over the pastry and use it all so that there are no scraps. Lift the pastry over the onions and tuck down the sides of the pan. Make two small slits for the steam to escape.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the pastry is risen and golden brown. Leave to stand for five minutes. Turn the pastry gently to release, you should be able to spin the tart tatin when it is ready to serve.
6. Cover the pan with a plate, invert, then remove the pan leaving the tart now on the plate. Serve warm or cold.