The Chopping Block's 20th anniversary

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's cooking school, The Chopping Block, is celebrating a milestone anniversary in April 2017. 20 years ago the school started in a small cottage in Lincoln Park as a way to satisfy the culinary curiosity of novice chefs. Now with two locations in Chicago, The Chopping Block is inviting everyone who has helped support them over the years for events to celebrate their accomplishments.

Hands-on cooking classes and demonstrations are being offered free of charge on April 1 at the Lincoln Square location, and April 8 at the Merchandise Mart location. Guests at both events will also enjoy a buffet of appetizers and desserts of Chopping Block favorites from over the years. Shelley Young, owner of The Chopping Block, visited the ABC 7 State Street Studios to talk about the upcoming events.

Event: Chopping Block 20th Anniversary
Date: April 1 & 8, 2017
Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
April 1 - Lincoln Square 4747 N. Lincoln Ave.
April 8 - Merchandise Mart 222 Merchandise Mart
Admission/ Ticket Prices: Free



Onion and Blue Cheese Tart:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter
4 medium-size onions, sliced or diced
1/4 cup sherry wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 recipe Pie or Tart Dough (recipe follows)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, rough chopped
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. To caramelize the onions, heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Sauté the onions until they are nicely caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. If browned bits form on the bottom of the pan while the onions are cooking add a splash of water to deglaze.
3. Once the onions are fully caramelized to a rich golden color, deglaze with the sherry wine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.
4. While the onions cook, roll the disk of dough out on a floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 10-inch tart pan. Fold in the edges and trim even with the rim of the pan. Chill until you ready to bake the tart.
5. Stir the heavy cream, egg yolks and thyme into the onions.
6. Remove the tart crust from the refrigerator, spread the onions evenly over the bottom, and top with the crumbled blue cheese.

7. Bake on a parchment-lined sheet tray until golden brown and bubbly, about 40 minutes.

Pie or Tart Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch fine sea salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled
1/4 cup shortening, chilled
1/3 cup cold water

1. Place flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
2. Cut the butter and shortening into small pieces and add to processor. Be sure to keep them as cold as possible.
3. Pulse the mixture until crumbly and the fat is in small pieces throughout the flour.
4. Working quickly, start the processor and add cold water until the mixture just forms a ball.
5. Turn out dough onto a work surface and shape into an oval.
6. Cut the dough in half and press the cut side down to form two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days before rolling out.
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