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focaccia with caramelized onions, blue cheese and pear

Posted Dec 28 2010 8:00am

I finally broke.

See, I really wasn’t going to cook that much at home. My moms much better , anyways. My plan was to pretty much wallow around in my sweatpants for two weeks and let her do all the cooking.

But then the other day I saw the perfect ray of diffused light come in the kitchen window and thought to myself, that lighting would make for a beautiful photo. I also caught myself staring way too long at the dishwasher and sitting in front of the pantry cross legged, chewing on dried apricots.

Something wasn’t right.

Finally, yesterday morning I said enough was enough. I poured a cup of strong coffee then pulled out the flour, salt and olive oil and greeted them like old friends. The second I plunged my hands into the soft dough, the scent of yeast rising in my mom’s warm kitchen, I sighed with relief.

I was finally home.

This focaccia is beautiful and rustic. It would make a perfect meal by itself, but we had it last night alongside some seared sea scallops and it was fabulous.

Are you a blue cheese lover? You should be.

I have a hard time eating blue cheese all by itself, but when paired with something sweet like honey or pears, I go crazy for it! Next time I make this focaccia, I think I’ll scatter some caramelized walnuts over the top right when it comes out of the oven. I love that sweet/savory combo.

I have to say, I liked cooking in my mom’s kitchen more than mine. Especially with the addition of a certain garbage disposal-like sous-chef!

Don’t worry, this one didn’t get any dough. I made sure of that. I guess I have a bad track record for almost killing family pets? Oops.

Focaccia with Caramelized Onions, Blue Cheese and Pear

serves 6-8

1 cup warm water (about 100 degrees)

1 package dry yeast

1 tsp honey

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup olive oil (plus more to drizzle)

1 large yellow onion, sliced very thin

1 large bosc pear, sliced thin

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Stir together the flour, warm water and honey. Let sit for a few minutes so the yeast and honey can dissolve. Add the flour, olive oil and salt and mix well, kneading with a kitchen aid or by hand (I did this by hand and it worked beautifully!). If you’re kneading by hand, knead for about six minutes or until the dough forms a smooth elastic ball. If using a kitchen aid, knead for about four minutes on medium/high.

Place dough ball into a oil rubbed bowl, cover, and let rise for one hour in a warm spot.

Preheat the oven to 450.

Caramelize the onions in a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil for about fifteen minutes, or until golden brown. After dough has risen, remove from bowl, punch down with fists and form a long rectangle. Dimple dough with fingers and drizzle about a tablespoon more of olive oil over top. Spread with caramelized onions. Layer on slices of pear and finish with the blue cheese crumbles. Bake for twenty minutes, or until the crust is golden.

I even did the dishes. Dishwashers are a beautiful thing.

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