Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Fantasy

I am only the mother to our 2 pups. Ace and Sissy aren't big on recognizing commercial holidays, and therefore, Mother's Day is mostly ignored for me. However, if we were going to fall into a fantasy world of puppy mothers having anything that they wanted today (instead of the Quaker Oats Weight Control oatmeal that I am snarfing as I type this), my mind runs to a leisurely brunch.

In a conversation on a recipe site message board, I promoted an Onion Tart. A friend piped up that it would be a great Mother's Day Brunch. I agree, wholeheartedly. It spurred fantasies of someone else preparing this combination of onions sauteed in butter, cream, Parmesan, and a flaky crust. I imagine it served with a crisp, fresh salad. Green Salad with Pomegranate and Mandarin would fit the bill nicely with its combination of greens and the bright flavors of the fruit.

Yep. My mind is going to wander to fantasies of a Mother's Day Brunch of Onion Tart and Green Salad with Pomegranate and Mandarin On My Plate. Now...if only the dogs could cook.

Onion Tart
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces, plus more for tart pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ cup ice water
1 ½ pounds onions, finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 pinch nutmeg, freshly grated
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Butter a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom; set aside.
Make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add 8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled butter, and combine with fingers or a pastry blender until it has the texture of coarse meal.
Add 1/2 cup ice water, and stir just until a dough forms.
Form into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap.
Chill for at least 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch-thick round.
Fit dough into prepared tart pan; trim excess.
Line with a parchment paper round, and fill with pie weights.
Chill for 15 minutes.
Transfer to oven, and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove pie weights and parchment paper.
Bake for 5 minutes more.
Remove from oven, and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat remaining 4 tablespoons butter.
Add onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly browned and softened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, combine beaten egg, cream, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Stir in onions.
Sprinkle baked tart shell with cheese.
Spread onion mixture evenly over cheese.
Bake until set, 35 to 40 minutes. (Serves 8)

Green Salad with Pomegranate and Mandarin
2 cups iceberg or romaine lettuce
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced
½ cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup mandarin orange section
½ cup balsamic vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Mix all greens together in a large salad bowl, adding more lettuce if need be. Add pomegranate seeds and mandarin orange pieces.
Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette to taste.
Toss lightly. (Serves 4)

Balsamic Vinaigrette
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper

Whisk all ingredients together and refrigerate until needed.
Re-shake in container or stir before serving. (Yields ¾ cup dressing)

Happy Mother's Day!

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