Saturday, January 8, 2011

Prelim Defense

OK, so it's been a while. In my defense, I've had a lot going on. One of those things was my prelim defense. After 20 hours of exams, I had to defend my answers to my committee. Sounds fun, right? I was stressed nearly to the point of tears - in public! But it's over now, and I passed, so I can look back and tell you all about the lovely spread that I made for people to snack on.
I thought that if I made tasty snacks, I could improve my committee members' moods, and even possibly distract them from asking their most difficult questions. Hah! Was I ever wrong. They didn't even eat anything! I had to force cookies in their hands on the way out to get rid of a few things.
But Nick and I ate very well that night. We had a roasted red pepper white bean dip, from smitten kitchen, some fromage blanc with garden herbs I've been saving from the last farmer's market of the season, carrots and fresh bread to dip, and a caramelized onion tart, which fell apart on the way to school, but tasted very delicious. I also made my signature chocolate chip cookies.
caramelized onions
The onion tart was really very lovely, and completely uneaten at the end of my defense. I guess I must have actually deserved to pass, because if they had eaten the tart, they may have just agreed to just about anything - so delicious.
I started by slicing about 5 yellow onions nice and thin. I caramelized them which took about 30 or 40 minutes.
Cooking onions
I used a pre-made pie crust. I know some people are into making their own pie crust, but really, I don't taste the difference, and the pre-rolled stuff is just so easy.
pie crust in tart pan
With the onions in the crust, I filled the tart with a combination of about 3 eggs and a cup of whole milk and some salt and pepper.
Fill onion tart
This went in the oven at 350 degrees for about half an hour. There it is. So delicious.

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