I hope I didn’t fool you in to thinking I know French because I don’t. I spent 10+ years of my life speaking Spanish and I wish I could tell you I was fluent but I am not. When it comes to French I can basically say “hello”, “yes”, “no” and “goodbye”. I have been to France and still no better at speaking French but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate all things France.
Not only do I love the French but I decided it would be an awesome idea to have a French themed dinner party. Yikes! I thought maybe we would invite folks to our dinner party and then they wouldn’t come and so we could just make a French dinner for the family but alas, everyone likes the sound of a French themed dinner party so it looks like we’ll just have to make it happen.
Stay tuned because in a few more days the dinner party will be here and I’ll have to show you how it all turns out. Today I decided to give you a sneak peek. I wanted to create an appetizer that is pretty common but I wanted it to taste like French Onion Soup and not just some caramelized onions on puff pastry. I decided that the best way to accomplish this goal was to add Sherry to the onions because I am in this “add booze to everything” phase.
My mom makes a pretty amazing French Onion Soup and every time she makes it we can immediately tell when we walk in the door and smell the sweet smell of caramelized onions. I love onions, I think they are the best ingredient to use because they work in almost anything. I especially LOVE onions when they have been caramelized. They fill the room with an aroma that is hard to resist. I could literally have taken that little bowl of onions and spread them on some toast and called it a day. I don’t think the hubs would like it too much if I ate onions all day long. I guess there is a reason why that diet craze hasn’t happened.
Now when you combine these delectable onions with flaky puff pastry and cheese you have an appetizer that rocks my socks! Do people still say ridiculous things like “rock my socks”? Anyhow, enjoy this sneak peek and pray that the rain stays at bay this weekend as we try to transport our friends to France for one night and I will not attempt to speak any French because that would be an epic disaster.
French Onion Tarts
Yields 9 Individual Tarts
1 Frozen Puff Pastry Sheet
2 Large Red Onions
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Butter
1/2 Tsp. Light Brown Sugar
2 Tsp. Sherry
1/2 Cup Shredded Gruyère Cheese
1/4 Cup Shredded Asiago Cheese
Pre heat the oven to 425. Follow the instructions for thawing your puff pastry on the counter, don’t let it sit out for more than 40 minutes. Thinly slice your red onions from pole to pole, this will prevent the onions from getting stringy.
In a skillet over medium heat add 2 tbsp. olive oil with 2 tbsp. butter and melt. Add your sliced onions and brown sugar to the skillet and saute over medium heat for 20 minutes, continue to stir allowing the onions to soften. Once your onions have started to brown you can reduce the heat and add the sherry and Worcestershire and continue to let the onions cook on low heat an additional 5 minutes. Once heated set aside to cool.
To prepare your puff pastry cut the pastry in to 9 equal sized squares. Working on a lightly floured board roll each square out to form a rectangle. Pinch the sides of the puff pastry to create a scalloped edge (use your index finger and thumb to create edge). Place your pastry on a non-stick baking sheet or tray and place in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes. Remove pastry shells from fridge and pierce the pastry multiple times with a fork.
Brush each tart with olive oil and then sprinkle the Gruyère and Asiago cheese on each tart. Spoon the cooled onion mixture on to each tart making sure to leave some room around the edge. Sprinkle pepper over each tart to taste before placing the baking sheet in the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes or until the puff pastry starts to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Sprinkle the tarts with fresh thyme and enjoy.