Friday, December 19, 2008

Focaccia with Grapes, Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese

Sometimes it's good to watch tv. It's not often that a cooking show inspires me to run into the kitchen and try a dish, but occasionally I find myself frantically taking notes or jotting ideas.

This is one of those times.

I watched a Food Network show--some holiday medley extravaganza--and saw Tyler Florence do a grilled flatbread with blue cheese mascarpone, caramelized onions, grapes and toasted walnuts. (His recipe is here, by the way.) I knew I had most of the ingredients on hand, so trying this out was a no-brainer.

This was a tasty, tasty addition to a ladies' supper at my house last night. The blue cheese was a salty counterpoint to the sweet red grapes. I felt the caramelized onions got a bit lost--perhaps I should have made more. The parsley was nice for color and freshness. Overall, a winning combination in my book!

Focaccia with Grapes, Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese
adapted from this recipe by Tyler Florence
serves 4

dough for 1 pizza crust, homemade or store-bought (I bought locally-made fresh pizza dough)
all-purpose flour
extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup red grapes, cut in half
1 large yellow onion, sliced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
pinch kosher salt
about 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, rough-chopped

My dough was frozen, so it sat on the counter all day to thaw and rest; by the time I was ready to put this focaccia together, it was at room temperature and ready.

Place pizza stone or pan in the oven and preheat to 350*F. The stone should be as hot as the oven when you place the dough on it.

Roll out your dough with a little all-purpose flour. I dusted the dough and board with flour and started pressing out the dough. When it began to relax, I lifted it up off the board and started handling it with my knuckles (hard to explain... like gently punching the dough from underneath it, rotating it clockwise with my knuckles) to stretch it into a circle, about 8 inches in diameter. If you do it slowly and properly, you'll need no cornmeal to make it stay stretched out.

Drizzle surface of dough with extra virgin olive oil and carefully transfer, oiled side down, to preheated pizza stone in oven. Bake about 10 to 15 minutes, or until crust is golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool briefly.

While dough is baking, cook onion in butter with a sprinkle of kosher salt over medium heat, stirring often, until dark and caramelized. It took me about 10 minutes.

Combine mascarpone and blue cheese. Spread on still-warm pizza crust. Don't worry that it doesn't spread easily. Top with caramelized onions and return to oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, top with grapes and sprinkle with parsley. Cut into strips or wedges and serve warm with a glass of white wine.


Sam said...

Wow, that sounds so good!

Mary said...

Wow! That looks really great and I'm not even a big fan of grapes!

Amanda said...

Thank you, Sam & Mary! It was really scrumptious, I must say. I suppose if you didn't want to use grapes, any kind of crisp, chilled fresh fruit would work. You want that sweet bite with that bold blue cheese.

Anonymous said...

I love the combination of ingredients :)

Amanda said...

Thanks, Maryann!

Vanessa Cole said...

As RR says....."YUMM-O"

Merry Christmas!

It's been a long time and it's good to be back here again.

I'm back in Blogland with a new blog that fits me where I am now in my life. Please stop by if you get a chance.

You will find me at "In Search Of."


Amanda said...

Merry Christmas to you, Vanessa! So glad to see you again--I've gone & subscribed to your new blog. I always loved reading your posts and will look forward to it again!

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