I haven’t the slightest idea of what to talk about today. I mean, Mardi Gras is happening so we could chat about baking tiny babies into cakes or about eating our weight in jelly donuts that are then rolled in sweet glorious sugar and consumed in such high quantities on Fat Tuesday that it makes me weak in the knees. I could talk about the fact that I lift the donut case lid just a smidgen every morning at the coffee shop just to smell the donuts. I think it is the best way to start a work day…a good whiff of fat and sugar and a large americano. We could talk about how this activity is directly related to why people think I am slightly off my rocker but how the coffee guy totally gets it.
We could talk about how next Wednesday, nuns will be chasing us all around with ashes and large thumbs. We could talk about how last year my cross was so large I could see it if I crossed my eyes and then I proceeded to smear it all over my forehead. Instead of looking faithful, I managed to look filthy.
We could talk about how I came to the sudden realization that cardigans are my ‘Thunder Shirt“. I like being able to pull them tight around me, making me feel safe and secure, reducing stress and anxiety from awkward situations and less from fireworks. We could discuss how I am 100% cool with this and will continue to proudly wear my cardigans.
We could talk about how I think mushrooms and onions, caramelized into sweet sweet loveliness, are swoon worthy and after much thought, are considered my most favored savory food mash-up. We could talk about how third wheeling blue cheese into this flavor combo sends me over the moon. And then we could discuss that wrapping blue cheese with caramelized onions and mushrooms up into a flaky tender all butter pie crust is the best idea I have had in months. Best idea besides the Garth Brooks concert, that was pretty damn stellar.
Do you have anything we could talk about? Clearly, I am lacking in ideas.
- 1 Cup of Flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ Cup unsalted butter, diced and COLD
- 1/ 4 to ½ cup cold buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups sliced onions (about 4 to 5 medium onions)
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 2 -3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 + ½ cups crumbled blue cheese (about 5 ounces)
- 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water lightly beaten with a fork for egg wash
- Begin by making crust. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Cut cold, cubed butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingertips. Work until butter pieces are the size of large peas, while others will be the size of rolled oats.
- Sprinkle cold buttermilk over dough, tablespoon by tablespoon, and stir dough together with a fork or fingertips until it begins to form into a ball. Add extra buttermilk, one tablespoonful at a time, if dough seems too dry. Once the dough begins to form into a ball, empty contents out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough 2 or 3 times and shape dough into a round flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least one hour to rest.
- While the dough is resting, caramelize onions and mushrooms. In a large heavy bottom skillet - preferably cast iron or stainless steal, combine butter and olive oil. Place over medium to medium high heat and once butter is melted, add onions to skillet. Stir to coat the onions. Spread onions evenly out over the bottom of the pan and let cook, stirring only occasionally. If the onions begin to stick to the bottom, reduce the heat and continue cooking. After about 10 minutes of cooking, sprinkle onions with salt. Stir and continue cooking. Let cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 5 to 7 minutes adjusting the heat accordingly. At this point, add mushrooms and about 1 more tablespoon of oil or butter and gently toss to combine with onions. Evenly spread mixture out over the bottom of the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 to 15 minutes until the mushrooms are browned.
- Add balsamic vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan, deglazing the pan and adding flavor to your mushrooms and onions. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Once the onion mixture has cooled toss it with about 1 cup of the crumbled blue cheese. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll pie crust out until it is about 12 to 15 inches in diameter. Transfer pie crust to an ungreased baking sheet. Pour onion, mushroom, and blue cheese mixture into center of crust, leaving about a 2 inch wide border. Sprinkle remaining blue cheese over filling.
- Gently fold the edges of the dough up and over the filling, pleating the dough every few inches. Brush the crust with egg wash and then place in preheated oven and let bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until crust is golden and the cheese is browned and bubbly. Remove from oven and let set for at least 10 minutes before slicing. It is best eaten the day of making, however, it was delicious the next day reheated in the microwave. Stored in airtight container in fridge. If storing, do not expect the crust to remain as crisp as the first day.
*If you are not a mushroom fan, don’t add them. This would be good with just onions and blue cheese.
**If you are not a blue cheese fan a) who are you?!? b) try using maybe gouda or maybe goat cheese. Mix it up, see what happens, let me know.
***If you want to make the pie dough ahead of time, go right ahead – I would recommend not storing dough in fridge for more than 3 days (freeze it instead).
****If you want to caramelize onions and mushrooms ahead of time, be my guest. Store in fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 3 days. I am pretty much telling you that you can make this on a thursday evening after work and totally blow the socks off your guests on, say, a Saturday evening with very little effort on your end.
*****I think fresh rosemary, roughly chopped and added with the blue cheese, would be kick ass.