In keeping with the flood of variously popular reality shows, the Food Network hosted their own earlier this year to find The Next Food Network Star. Of many worthy and entertaining candidates, two caterers from Chicago won a six episode special: Party Line with Dan and Steve. I really like these guys and I like their show. They’re entertaining, informative and, most importantly, their recipes are good.
When I saw the show a few weekends ago, their recipe for Rustic Onion Pie really caught my eye The dough was simple and lean (flour, water and a touch of olive oil) and the filling was even more so (sweet onions, with salt and pepper). Dan said that the recipe is a tradition in his Italian family’s get-togethers. The onions are cooked, steamed but not caramelised, until they are quite soft and acquire an almost melting quality after their second cooking in the oven. The dough has a nice flavor and a pleasant, crisp chew. I rather doubt it makes good leftovers, but then, I didn’t have any.
The dough can be prepared in advance and it isn’t too difficult to roll out. I used Maui onions, but any variety of sweet onion would be wonderful, like Vidalia or Panoche. There is an option to use anchovies in the filling, but I omitted it. This is a great main dish with a salad, or it could be cut into smaller pieces and served as an appetiser or as a side. My only complaint is that the slices were a bit difficult to handle, given that the best way to eat it is to pick up the pieces. Next time I might make individual onion pie pockets.
Rustic Onion Pie
(original, larger recipe from Food Network)
2 cups ap flour
1/2-2/3 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 lbs sweet onions (5-6 onions)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt (a bit more, to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper
Combine flour, water, 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt until it comes together into a slightly sticky dough. Remove dough to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times, until it is smooth. Divide dough into two balls and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until ready to use.
To make the filling, peel and thinly slice onions and place into a large pot with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender and translucent, 20-30 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 350F.Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out one ball of dough until it is approximately 1/8 inch thick and roughly an 10×13 inch rectangle (this is rustic, so you don’t have to be exact!). Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet. Place filling on dough, spreading it evenly, but leaving an inch of dough uncovered around the sides. Roll out second dough ball in the same manner, but try to make it a bit larger, an extra 1/2 inch on all sides. Place dough over onion filling and pinch dough together to seal the pie. Crimp the edge of the pie with your fingers (pinch the dough every 1-2 cm). Cut a few small vents in the pie. Brush pie lightly with olive oil.
Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes, until the pie is a nice, golden color and the filling bubbles slightly through the vent holes. Allow it to cool, on the baking sheet, for at least 20-30 minutes before slicing (I recommend a pizza cutter).
Makes an (approx) 9×12 inch pie
JoeOctober 11, 2005
Glad to see you made this! I’ve been watching and enjoying their show too. It’s good to know that their recipes are turning out so well!
MikaOctober 11, 2005
I like their show. Their tips on entertaining are quite informative. I saw them make this recipe (and also the terrine) and have been wanting to try it. I am glad it turns out well.
chanitOctober 11, 2005
I love this kind of dough , and lot of onions too.. Thanks 🙂
JessicaOctober 11, 2005
Wow, not bad at all. Just 1 tbsp of olive oil. I’m going to try this recipe. I love onions. Sadly, I haven’t watched Party Line because my new apartment doesn’t have cable. 🙁
LoriOctober 12, 2005
This looks like a winner — I love onions and I love pie. Gotta try!
NicOctober 12, 2005
Joe and Mika – That terrine did look simple. I was suprised that that show turned out so well, but I’m glad!
Jessica – Fortunately, FoodTV posts all their recipes. I don’t think you’re hugely missing anything and you’ll definately have reruns to look forward to if and when you get cable.
raquelOctober 12, 2005
Thanks Nic for the dough recipe! Do you think it is versitle enough to add any type of veggies, such as oven roasted sweet potatoes and onions, or steamed broccoli and mushrooms?
NicOctober 12, 2005
Raquel – I think that this dough would be great with other fillings. I definately plan to use it again with roasted veggies or perhaps a potato/sausage mixture.
SpampyOctober 13, 2005
I’m glad to see that Dan and Steve are doing well and turning out a good show. I watched the competition religiously last year and was rooting for them the entire time. I’m very depressed that I don’t get to watch it now, as I have no tv or cable in my dorm room 🙁
LisaSDOctober 18, 2005
Their show is great and they’re quite cute together…I have my eye on that spaghetti pie they did this week…Glad the onion one was good!
AnonymousOctober 26, 2005
the filling turned out great…however the pastry was so hard after baking that I could barely even cut. Do you know what I could have done wrong. So after it cooled, I stored it in an airtight container and was great the next day because the crust softened.
NicOctober 26, 2005
Anonymous – Dan and Steve suggest that this tart be served at room temperature when the crust is slightly soft. It is a crisp, cracker-like crust, so it doesn’t sound like you did anything “wrong”. Try it open-faced (like a galette) next time, for a higher filling to crust ratio.