I recently acquired a copy of Martha Stewart’s Hor D’Oeuvres Handbook and became taken with her flair for small bites with beautiful presentation. The onion relish here was inspired by Dancer’s Chicken with Balsamic Onions. You can prepare the onions a day or so ahead of time and finish the tarts just before serving. I tend to offer a lot of variety so I keep the batches of each hors d’oeuvre small, but this can be easily doubled. Don't let the preparation time scare you, its mostly simmering time that frees you to attend to other things. These tarts are just wonderful served along with a zesty red wine.
- 15 miniature phyllo cups (1 package found in the freezer section of the market)
- 1 large vidalia onion, thinly sliced and chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 -4 ounces yogurt cheese or 3 -4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon milk (only if you are using cream cheese)
- 3 -4 sprigs fresh thyme, optional garnish
- Under medium to low heat, place olive oil and onions in a skillet and cook for 3 or 4 minutes so that onions begin to soften but not brown.
- Add 1/3 cup of chicken broth to the onions and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates. This should take about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add thyme and another 1/3 cup of broth, and cook until the liquid evaporates.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and the remaining broth, cooking until liquid evaporates. The final simmer takes about 12-15 minutes.
- The results will be soft and tender onions with a tart sauce that is slightly syrupy but not at all loose.
- To fill the Phyllo cups you can either use a pastry bag with a star tip or a teaspoon. If you are using cream cheese, allow it to soften a bit and mix with a tablesoon of milk.) Place a small amount of the yogurt or cream cheese in the shell filling about 1/3 to 1/2 way to the top. Top each with a spoonful of the onions.
- Bake the tartlets in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
- To garnish, you can pipe little rosettes of yogurt or cream cheese on top and sprinkle with a few fresh thyme leaves.