The verdict from Coolchick: "this recipe's a keeper."
Overall ... excellent!
Pros: makes a lot, lots of onions.
Cons: makes a lot, lots of onions.
I know what we'll be eating for the next few days.
[Edit ... not really ... froze individual slices. A friend is coming up this week. We'll be having N.Y. Strip Steaks, onion tart, and seasoned green beans for dinner.]
Here's what we did, to make two separate tarts. My wife didn't want mushrooms or spinach.
Coolchick's suggestion is that the recipe can easily be cut in half, and what she doesn't like can just be put on my side.
This is actually much easier than it seems.
Carmelized Onion Tart
2 pre-made frozen crusts (Oronoque Orchards)
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
4 large Vidalia Onions, sliced
2 Italian sausages
A small jar of button mushrooms
1 small yellow onion diced
4 ounces of pancetta, diced into small pieces
1 large clove of garlic (pre-minced stuff in jar is o.k.)
1/2 teaspoon of capers, roughly chopped (cut in half from above, as my wife didn't want this step)
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1 bag baby spinach from the produce aisle
4 ounces of Goat Cheese
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
The following makes (1) an onion, meat, and cheese tart, and (2) an onion, meat, cheese, mushroom, and spinach tart.
Boil water in a large pot. Boil the sliced potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside in the colander.
Carmelize the Onions: Heat butter together with enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large pot. Add the sliced onions. Its' going to seem like a lot but they cook down. Cook over medium heat. The onions should be stirred often while cooking and will be done when they are a caramel color. Set Aside.
While doing the above (it takes time to cook the onions) ...
Heat a non-stick wok. Take the sausages out of the casing and drop balls into the wok. Cook thoroughly. Take cooked sausage out of the wok and place in a bowl.
Sauté the pancetta in the non-stick wok until crisp, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.
Drain off most of the fat leaving some to sauté some of the mushrooms (not the whole jar), add ground black pepper while cooking. Add a little white cooking wine at the end. Set the mushrooms aside in another bowl.
In a pot with a lid, heat a little of olive oil, add the garlic and capers. Add some spinach (as much as you want for one tart). Cover with the lid. (Don't worry about the spinach if it seems like a lot; it cooks down like the onions). Cook until the spinach is soft and turn off the heat.
Now turn on the oven to 375F.
By now, you should have (I think ) ...
A large pot with the carmelized onions,
A colander with the cooked, sliced, potatoes,
A bowl with the cooked pancetta,
A bowl with the cooked sausage,
A bowl with the cooked mushrooms,
A pot with the cooked spinach, and
Pie crusts in the freezer.
Line the still frozen pie crusts with a layer of potatoes using about half and setting the rest aside.
Add half the cooked spinach and mushrooms to one pie crust.
Add some pancetta, sausage, and goat cheese to each.
Beat the three eggs in a bowl.
In a two separate pots, add half of the following to what's remaining of each: leftover potatoes, onions, beaten egg, and heavy cream. Whip with a fork, breaking down the potato slices. Add some freshly ground pepper. Add the remaining sausage and pancetta to each. Stir.
Add the remaining mushrooms and spinach to one pot and stir.
Pour the mixture into the crusts and press in. Add the remaining goat cheese and sperad the remaining onions on top. Press down into shape.
Cook for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
You will have to use a pie ring halfway through, so the crust doesn't burn.
Test when you think it's done with a knife. It should come out fairly clean. If it still needs more, cover with foil and cook more.
When done, turn off oven, open oven door, and let sit for 10 minutes.
Edit: I had Coolchick read this and edit. She suggests to add more sausage and pancetta if this will be dinner.
Edit: Looking at the final tarts, this can probably be further simplified by adding the rest of the mushrooms/spinach after the sausage/pancetta/cheese (i.e., all the added ingredients that differentiate the pies), so that the potato/onion/egg/cream mixture can just be done in a single batch and poured in. We'll do that next time.
Edit 2. And, I should have moved the garlic over to cooking the pancetta, as my wife likes some garlic. Overall, this recipe looks very flexible to what you like.
We really want to make it again.
Modified by Cooper at 9:14 PM 1-30-2004