French food is easy. All you need is butter and thyme.
We were happy to have my aunt and uncle over for dinner to celebrate my aunt's birthday. I decided to make a savory tart, a "French" onion tart.
My aunt loves France- she used to live in Paris, and she taught me to (maybe unintentionally) associate delicious, fashionable, and lavender (the herb) with France. When I was younger we would have tea parties with rose tea and cream, little cakes, and pastries. When I got older we had tea parties with stinky cheese, mustard, rosé, and violet liqueur.
French food had a long and complicated reputation. I'm not so interested in soups, sauces, and meats that take days to prepare. I'm interested in the fresh, simple, and delicious French "bistro" food. Easy, hearty, and served with wine. The way real French people eat.
My onion tart starts with a simple pastry dough:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 sticks of cold butter
1/4 (or less) cup of ice cold water
Mix the butter and flour together until it is crumbly, I do it in the stand mixer for less than a minute.
With the mixer still running, slowly pour ice cold water into the flour mixture until it just comes together. Let the dough rest for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
The secret to good tart dough is keep it cold before you cook it. The cold butter creates steam in the oven and that gives you a lovely flaky dough.
Nick cut 4 beautiful onions for me, because they were making me cry, and then I sauteed them with some olive oil, salt, and herbes de Provence. When the onions were soft I piled them on a very cold, rolled out tart dough. Then I dotted the onions with fresh goat cheese and prosciutto. Then they went into the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Until everything looks golden and delicious.