By Ryan McKay
As I pondered the upcoming weekends filled with the American pastime of watching football (and the EPL—go Man U!) and eating, I reviewed some of my favorites. While considering some of my recipes, I felt they needed to hit a few basic criteria: they must be handheld; be easy to make, requiring as little time away from the big screen as possible; indulgent tasting but inexpensive; and, above all else, a crowd pleaser. Enter the Onion Tart.
This is recipe that like most started with a great woman: my Mom. She shared this with us many moons ago during a holiday visit, and it struck a cord with all attending. It should speak volumes that this dish can be placed on a turkey-laden holiday table and stand up to all its competition. My wife then got a hold of it determined to make it a family affair, and this is what she finished with. Crunchy, savory, slightly sweet, aggressively seasoned, this hits all the benchmarks (as does my wife). Wherever you are, whoever you are with, enjoy the football season!
A few after the fire critiques: Créme Fraîche is must here and can now be found readily available in most major grocery stores. It’s the subtle sour notes that make it so popular in both savory and sweet dishes, but it is it’s fat content that makes it a star. Adding this to anything from soups and sauces will offer the creaminess one seeks but without it breaking or curdling. We regularly stock this in our fridge…it’s a great find.
1 Bag of Pre-Made Pizza Dough
2 Sweet Onions, sliced
2 Cups Portabella Mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces of Créme Fraîche
4-5 Slices of Bacon
1 Sprig of Rosemary, chopped
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil (AKA- OO)
1 Tbsp. Dried Parsley
2 tsp. Garlic Powder
Pepper and Salt to taste
Baking sheet (quarter or smaller)
Sauté Pan, large
Place two tablespoons Tbsp, OO, and the dough in a bowl insuring the dough is covered in the oil then cover with plastic wrap. Let it proof while preparing the remaining ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the baking sheet topped with the bacon in the middle rack of the oven and cook until crisp, or about 10-15 minutes (check often). Place onto paper towels to drain then chop into bite-size pieces, and reserve. Whip out all but a tbsp. of bacon grease and reserve baking sheet.
In a sauté pan, place one tablespoon of OO over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, the dried parsley, garlic powder, a tablespoon of water and an aggressive pinch of salt and cook until slightly browned, 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve. Increase head to medium-high and add remaining OO, mushrooms and pinch of salt and cooked until slightly browned, or 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.
Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Gently stretch the dough on top of the baking sheet ensuring to reach all the corners while attempting to achieve a level thickness throughout. Lather the crème fraîche on top and then evenly place the bacon, onions, mushroom, and rosemary, and sprinkle with pepper and salt. Place in the middle rack and cook until bubbly and browned, or 16-20 minutes. Cool for five minutes, slice, and then serve, indulge!
Ryan McKay is a 13-year fire service veteran and a firehouse cook from Atlanta, Georgia. His goal is to bring the fast-paced lifestyle of the fire service with the slow-paced art of cultivating family and crew through the tool that is food. He has made an appearance on NBC’s primetime show “Food Fighters,” is a co-founder of the Metro Atlanta EMS Conference, and works intimately with the SafePath Child Advocacy Center.