My husband and I love New York. We try to go there once a year as a way to detach ourselves from the island life. Believe it or not, since we have been living on an island with a population of less than 3,000 people, we find that the chaos and the crazy tall buildings are somewhat entertaining.
Two years ago, if you told me that I would feel this way, I wouldn’t believe you. But in a weird way, after living in the quietness and serenity of a 9-mile long island for 2 years, we find ourselves enjoying all those qualities that are mostly loathed by most New Yorkers.
Like most of our vacations, our New York trip revolves around food. In addition to visiting some of the new restaurants, we love going to our favorite spots.
One of those favorite spots is a French restaurant called Balthazar. Located between Broadway and Crosby in Soho, it is a perfect excuse to spend a full day walking around and admiring the narrow streets of that neighboorhood.
As you enter Balthazar, you are welcomed with a crowd that proves that the restaurant is doing something right. Even with a reservation, you may have to wait a while for some happy customers to get up and leave. If you go without a reservation, be ready to wait for a couple of hours. Luckily, you are in the middle of Soho with a ton of things to do while you are waiting. Not to mention all the famous people that you may get to see as you are walking around the neighborhood.
Once you are seated, be ready for a feast. The menu consists of some of the most popular French dishes like boeuf bourguignon, duck confit, coq au vin, country style cod, etc. Every dish on the menu is made with the highest quality ingredients and mastered by its chef through using techniques passed down by generations before.
On the day we plan to go to Balthazar, we make sure to eat a very light breakfast so that there is enough room in our stomachs to fill with all the goodness the restaurant has to offer. The first thing we do is order a half bottle of our favorite red wine, Puilly-Fuissé – JA Ferret from their extensive wine menu. Then my husband, who is the more adventurous of the two of us, orders whatever looks good to him. I, on the other hand, always choose to order the same thing. I know that sounds boring, but I can’t help it. What I order is the warm goat cheese and caramelized onion tart as an appetizer, coq au vin as an entree, and the most amazing dessert of all time: profiteroles. For me, this is the best collection of foods on the entire menu.
This Goat Cheese Quiche with Caramelized Onions and Thyme quiche is my version of Balthazar’s warm goat cheese and caramelized onion tart.
They have the recipe for their Goat Cheese tart published in their cookbook, Balthazar. I have made it several times and I love it. However, it takes a little longer than I would like to make for a quick brunch quiche. That is why I came up with this version that is somewhat faster and easier to put together. I make the pie dough a day in advance and bake it the next morning while I cook the onions. Once they are ready, all you have to do is to pour a quick egg, heavy cream, and milk mixture over the pieces of goat cheese and caramelized onions. After baking it for 35-45 minutes you have an amazing quiche to serve.
With the great flavors of warm goat cheese, caramelized onions, and thyme, this quiche is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that you can make for any time of the day.
- For the crust
- 1 ¼ cups (6 ¼ oz.) all-purpose flour (plus more for the work surface)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 3 tablespoon vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces and refrigerated
- 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and cold
- 4 tablespoons of ice water
- For the filling
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions, sliced thinly into half moon slices
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs and 2 egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 4 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- To make the crust:
- Place the flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor. Pulse 3-4 times to combine.
- Scatter the small pieces of vegetable shortening on the flour mixture and process for 10 seconds. It will look like coarse cornmeal.
- Add the butter pieces and pulse 10 times until it looks like coarse crumbs.
- Place the dough into a bowl. Add the ice water. Using a spatula mix until the dough sticks together.
- Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
- When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 375 F Degrees.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and allow it to sit for 10 minutes on the counter. Roll it out on a floured surface into a ¼ inch thick, 10-inch circle. Drape it over a 9-inch tart pan. Tuck the excess 1-inch pieces underneath itself to form a neat and even edge.
- Place it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Take it out of the freezer. Place two layers of aluminum foil over the dough and fill it with pie weights or 2 cups of dry beans.
- Transfer it into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the pie weights and the aluminum foil, and bake for another 5 minutes. Take it out of the oven and set it aside. Do not turn the oven off.
- For the filling:
- While the crust is baking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet, in medium heat. Add onions, and stirring often, cook for 20-25 minutes or until they turn into golden brown. Set aside.
- Mix together the heavy cream, milk, eggs, egg yolks, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- To assemble:
- Scatter the crumbled goat cheese pieces, thyme, and caramelized onions over the piecrust. Pour the milk mixture over it.
- Place it in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. When you first take it out of the oven it may look like the middle part of the quiche is not fully cooked. This is normal. It will continue to cook as it cools on the kitchen counter.
- Allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes and serve it warm.