Does “happiness begin by dicing onions?” The poet William Matthews thought so. I have always been more of a cheese zealot than an onion lover, but recently I have had a lot of time to think about food while driving to and from a relative’s sick room at the hospital. Cravings for macaroni and cheese have danced through my brain while I idled at red lights. Phantom odors of comfort foods have wafted through my messy SUV. Yet with a sick family member, I haven’t had the time or the energy to create any exciting meals. Today I thought of Matthews' poem, “Onions,” and resolved to make a quick Cheddar and onion pie.
Ideally, one would always make one’s own pastry and pie crusts. One would also get their hands on the best Cheddar possible-say English farmhouse Cheddar or a local favorite made by artisans in California, Wisconsin or Vermont. Of course the truth about comfort food is that when one most needs a comforting meal is exactly when one has the least time available to cook it. So, if you really need comforting, give yourself a break and use what you have.
Quick Cheddar and Onion Pie Recipe
- 1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon parsley flakes
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 cups of water (for boiling)
- 2 eight-inch pastry shells (previously made or store bought)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a pie pan with one of the pastry shells.
- Remove 1 or 2 teaspoons of the egg and put them into a small bowl. (You will use them later, on top of your pie crust.)
- On the top of the stove, bring a sauce pan full of salted water to a boil. Toss in the onions and cook for 4 minutes. Drain Well.
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in the cheese.
- Mix in the egg and the remaining spices.
- Pour the cheese and onion filing into the pastry crust in the pan.
- Place the second pastry shell on top of the filling. Seal in the edges and cut a few small vents in the top for a completed pie.
- Brush the top of your pie with the remaining egg liquid.
- Bake your pie for 30 minutes.
- Serve warm (or cold).
- Steal a few minutes out of a hectic day to enjoy a slice of comfort.