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Roasted Tomato Cobbler with Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese Biscuits

Mariel here. So far I’ve been loving my new kitchen…but the only drawback is that I’ve become somewhat obsessive about keeping it clean. I come by the OCD honestly though: I still have vivid memories of my mother on her hands and knees combing rug fringe. She even went so far as to purchase a professional waxer so she could keep our pink kitchen floor tiles spotless and shiny. I suddenly have a new respect for this level of detail. I swear there hasn’t been a dry day since our kitchen was completed, so I expend way too much effort – and waste too many paper towels – erasing muddy paw prints and splatters beneath the high chair. I don’t have much free time nowadays, and I’m pretty sure this isn’t how I should be spending it.

Anyway, you probably didn’t come here to talk about housekeeping, so I’ll get on with it. For this month’s edition of Secret Recipe Club, I surfed on over to Sweetly Serendipity, which, as the name implies, touts a veritable confectionery of sweets and treats. Since the last thing my post-baby bod needs is an extra helping of sugar, I selected something other than a bakery treat. Jealous of my will-power? Don’t be, I double-fisted Pretzel M&M’s while cooking this Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits

Taryn was originally inspired by a recipe she found on Joy the Baker, who herself culled inspiration from Martha and The Clinton Street Bakery, so I knew this dish was bound to be a winner. It was so delicious that I ate 9 helpings of biscuits in 2 days. Awesome.

It’s one of those year-round all-occasion recipes that’ll please anyone, including your vegetarian friends, and it reheats beautifully so you can enjoy it all week if you’re flying solo. While I’m not always the most patient chef, I really took my time caramelizing the onions and it made a world of difference. They were so sweet and soft they were like candy, but nature’s candy, so there’s nothing to atone for.

Roasted Tomato Cobbler with Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese Biscuits
Serves 6
Adapted from Sweetly Serendipity

Biscuit Ingredients:
1½ cups all-purpose flour – stock
½-cup whole wheat flour – stock
2 tablespoons baking powder – stock
1 tablespoon granulated sugar – stock
½-teaspoon salt – stock
½-teaspoon coarse ground black pepper – stock
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes – stock
½-cup blue cheese crumbles – $3.50
¾-cup cold buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk on-hand, fake it by whisking ¾-cup milk with ¾-Tablespoon of white vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes before using) – stock
Filling Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil – stock
1½ large sweet onions, sliced thinly – $1.19
3 cloves garlic, minced – stock
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar – stock
3 pints of cherry tomatoes – $5.37
1/3-cup coarsely chopped basil – $1.99
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour – stock
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes – stock
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper – stock
1 Tablespoon buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute, as directed in biscuit ingredients) – stock
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $12.05
Cost per serving: $2

Directions for the Biscuits:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, pepper and salt. Using your fingers, add the cold butter and combine it with the dry ingredients, breaking it up into pea-size pieces. Do this quickly, before it has the chance to melt. Toss in blue cheese crumbles, incorporating well.

2. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk (or substitute). Using a fork, quickly mix together the wet and dry ingredients, creating a messy dough.

3. On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough about 10 times until all the pieces are incorporated. Shape into a flat disk, wrap in Saran and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Directions for the Filling:
1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame. Once hot, reduce to medium and saute the sliced onions with a little salt and pepper. Cook until soft and brown – about 20 minutes. Take your time with the onions, the more caramelized, the better. Stir frequently to avoid burning and adjust heat as necessary.

2. Once onions are caramelized, add garlic and saute for one more minute, then remove pan from heat, add balsamic vinegar and set aside.

3. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

4. In a large bowl, toss the whole cherry tomatoes, chopped basil, flour, and red pepper flakes. Add caramelized onions and combine gently until everything is evenly coated in flour. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the tomato and onion filling into a rectangular 9×12 baking dish. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

5. Remove the dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the biscuit dough into a ¾-inch thickness. Use a 2-inch round biscuit cutter (a measuring cup also works) to cut out biscuits, re-rolling as needed to cut more biscuits.

6. After 20 minutes in the oven, remove the partially cooked filling and place 10-12 biscuits atop the tomato filling in the pan. Brush biscuit tops with buttermilk and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

7. Return pan to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes more, until the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through, and the tomatoes are bubbling.

8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving – those whole tomatoes are piping hot! Serve warm.