The first entry in the Seashells and Sunflowers Argentine Recipe Contest comes from Cecilia Maza of La Calera, Province of Córdoba, Argentina [Twitter: @Cecilia_Maza].
This recipe for tarta de cebolla y queso was culled from a notebook with collected recipes from Cecilia's grandmother. Cecilia explained that where she once lived, in San Antonio, Province of Misiones, this dish would make frequent appearances at family gatherings and other informal events, not only in her home but throughout the region. This recipe has been a part of Cecilia's life for as long as she can remember, and now she's sharing it here with us. Thank you, Ceci!
Admittedly, I was thrown by the title of the recipe. Since the recipe claimed to be a tart, I was expecting something similar to a quiche studded with onions and bits of melted cheese; however, it soon became apparent that I was preparing a bread batter. When the tarta emerged from the oven, I found the texture to be rather like a moist, dense, savory quickbread. Whatever you call it, the result proved tasty!
This recipe screams simplicity. You won't need to go in search of any bizarre, pricey ingredients, and it's a snap to throw together. I would serve this alongside a soup or stew, or eat it alone as a snack.
Tarta de Cebolla y Queso | Onion and Cheese Quickbread
Yields 12 medium-sized portions
1 medium onion, diced
2 c. flour
7 Tbsp. (100g) butter, softened
4 oz. (120g) queso cremoso, cut into chunks [or substitute 1 c. coarsely grated mozzarella cheese]
approx. 1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. cream
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste [my addition]
Preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC).
In a medium skillet over medium heat, sweat the onions with a pinch of salt and a few tablespoons of water. Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent and the water has completely evaporated.
Place the onion, flour, butter and eggs in a large bowl. Mix vigorously with a wooden spoon and slowly add the milk, adjusting the amount, as necessary, until the ingredients come together in a uniform mixture with the consistency of thick cake batter. Add the cream, [salt and pepper], and the cheese, and stir to combine.
Butter and flour a baking dish [I used a 9x9 ceramic baking dish]. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top turns golden brown.
Cut into small squares or rectangles for appetizer-sized portions or serve larger portions. Serve hot or at room temperature.