As a "foodie" person I feel that I am expected to like all foods or at least lack utter disdain for almost all foods. But I have to confess, I can't stand onion (in particular raw onion). I have tried it on tacos and burgers and in salads but no matter how I try it I can't bring myself to enjoy it. Something about the smell and the taste and the crunch just bothers me immensely - I don't think I will ever get over this one. So I've learned to work around it (mostly be avoiding all dishes that contain raw onions..) but also by cooking and using alternatives like shallots and my personal favorite leeks. Leeks are the greatest thing - they are an onion/garlic hybrid and when you slow cook them they get so unbelievably soft and sweet and succulent that I go weak in the knees for them. I love them most when combined with some form of cheese (I can thank the French for that), so when I came across the simplest of French tarts that combined leeks with goat cheese, I quickly found an excuse to make it. This tart is the kind of thing that impresses people - it looks fancy and French and most people would think you spent half the day making it, but really its quick and easy and comes together in about an hour and tastes divine. I am looking forward to serving thick wedges of it with a simple a green salad and a glass of cold white wine for an impossibly chic dinner (but really I will probably end up eating it while sitting on the floor around our makeshift dinning room table. One day I will be chic).
Leek Tart with Aged Goat Cheese (Flamiche Aux Poireaux)
If you want to make this in an hour I suggest making the tart dough, placing it in the frezzer and then make the leek confit while its in the freezer. By the time the confit is done, the dough is also ready and after that you can relax and watch TV while it bakes!
For the Crust
Recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (140 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (30 grams) yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams or 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 large egg
For the Filling
Recipe from Bon Appetit
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crumbled aged goat cheese (such as Bucheron, rind trimmed)
1 1/2 cups leek confit (recipe below for the leek confit)
In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, and salt. Work the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender, fork, or your fingertips until only tiny bits remain visible Add the egg, and mix with a form until the dough forms - using a little bit of elbow grease if the dough doesn't form together immediately. (This whole thing can also be done rather easily in the food processor by combining the flour, cornmeal, and salt into the processor. Add the butter and pulse the machine until the butter is in very tiny bites. Add the egg and run the machine until the dough starts to clump together.)
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12 inch circle. Place the dough over a 9 inch fluted, removeable bottom tart pan. Carefully press the dough against the bottom and sides of the tart pan. Run your rolling pin firmly over the top edge of your pastry pan to remove excess dough. Place the tart pan in the freezer for 20 - 30 minutes.
Whisk milk, cream, egg, egg yolk, and salt in a large bowl. Remove the tart pan from the freezer and place it on a baking sheet with edges. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese over the bottom of the dough. Top that with the leek confit and then sprinkle the remaining cheese. Pour milk mixture over. Bake until filling has puffed and is golden brown in spots, and center looks set about 35 - 40 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe from Bon Appetit
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 large leeks (white and light green parts only) halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks; stir to coat. Stir in water and salt. Cover pot, reduce heat to low. Cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Uncover and cook to evaporate excess water, 2-3 minutes. Serve warm. Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled. Rewarm before serving.