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Potluck Portables: Onion Tart

By Cara The Quarter-Life Cook

Potluck Portables (noun): Easy portable side dishes that can be made the night before, served at room temperature, and are versatile enough to complement any surrounding dish at a potluck buffet.

The weekday potluck presents a very particular challenge to those of us with full-time jobs. On the one hand, there's little more appealing after a day of work than sitting in someone's cozy apartment with a bit of wine, some passable gossip, and a meal that everyone's contributed to. On the other hand, being punctual to the potluck often means there's no time to stop home to cook, or even just pick up your tasty dish.

To combat these odds, I created a simple savory pie from ingredients as humble as onions and low-fat cottage cheese in my fridge. Cut into quarters and stowed safely in tupperware, it survived the subway travel and made it to the party intact and no worse for the wear.

What You Need:

For the crust:

* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cold
* 1 egg yolk
* 2-3 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 1 large onion, diced
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon mustard
* 1 cup whipped low-fat cottage cheese (if the cottage cheese you have is higher in fat, that's fine; if it has a larger curd, give it a whirl in the blender)
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 egg
* 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
* 1 tablespoon flour
* Paprika (optional)

How To Cook:

Combine the flours with the salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter, which should be very cold, into a small dice. Add the butter, and, using your fingers, grind it into the flour until the whole mixture looks like fine crumbs. Beat the egg yolk with the ice water, then pour into the bowl. Mix with a fork or your hands until you can combine the dough into a ball.

Pat it into a small disk, then roll out to fit in your pan. If the dough breaks apart, don't stress: collect the scraps and use them to fill in any holes you make. Transfer to a pie tart with a removable bottom and patch as needed. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Warm the oil in a small saucepan over very low heat. Add the diced onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, fragrant, and golden.

Combine the other 1/2 teaspoon salt, mustard, cottage cheese, milk, egg, flour, and half of the grated Swiss in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Remove the tart crust from the fridge. Sprinkle the onions all over it, then cover them with half of the Swiss. Pour the combined filling on top and smooth it to the edges. Decorate with the optional paprika and bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is slightly brown and the filling has set. Cool completely before cutting.

For the story behind this recipe, visit Big Girls, Small Kitchen.

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