Monday, December 15, 2008

Trio of Flatbreads

Recently we were at a wedding and one of the appetizers they served was flat breads with smoked salmon and a garlic sour cream. I almost forgot how much I enjoyed those little things! They are crispy, crumbly and creamy all in one! I was going through some old cookbooks from a culinary class I took and stumbled upon a wonderful and simple flat bread recipe.
I had a bunch of stuff in my fridge that I wanted to get rid of. So this trio of flat breads kinda became my "everything but the kitchen sink" meal!
The dough proved to be very, very easy to make! It rolled out beautifully and I was able to keep it really thin. You don't have to worry about making it a perfect circle or a perfect square, the more rustic the shape the better! The recipe stated to put some herbs into the mixture. I used rosemary for all of them, but you can use whatever herbs you like.

Serves 4
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
*Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle. I used a pizza stone instead.
Stir together flour, chopped herbs of choice, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a floured work surface a few times.
Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out 1 piece on a sheet of parchment paper into a 10-inch round. Make sure you cover the others with plastic wrap so they don't dry out.
Lightly brush top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slide round with parchment paper onto preheated baking sheet and bake until it is a pale golden color, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer flat bread to a rack to cool, then make 2 more rounds (1 at a time) on fresh parchment. Since I was making them right away with my toppings...I took out one of my oven racks ahead of time and used that as my cooling rack. That way, I could just assemble flat bread and stick them back in the oven.
*Flatbread can be made 2 days ahead. Just cool it completely, and keep it in an air tight container at room temperature.*

I made 3 different flat breads, Lorraine, Caprese and Thai Pork.
Lorraine:
;<img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5280805381065078018" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Z6ViQOaXn90/SUkwg-Ja9QI/AAAAAAAAAEA/4ppOR8ifs4E/s320/Marina%27s+Bday+016.jpg" border="0" />Anything with the word Lorraine in it has proven to be good! Bacon, caramalized onions and Swiss Cheese are the usual suspects in a really great Lorraine Quiche. Here you get the same great flavors without the fuss of a traditional quiche.
Olive Oil For Brushing Flat Bread
4 Slices of Bacon, Chopped
1/2 Large Onion, Chopped
4 oz Gruyere Cheese; Shredded (Any nice, sharp cheese will do)
Salt and Pepper for Seasoning
Put the bacon in a sautee pan and let the fat render. Once some fat has rendered, add the onions and season to taste. Brush the flatbread with some olive oil and the bacon and onion mixture on flatbread. It does not have to be perfect, just make sure that it is nicely covered. Add the cheese on top and place in a 450-degree oven for about 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is all bubbly and melted. Use a pizza slicer or a large knife to cut into pieces. Cut immediately after it comes out so that it does not dry out.


One of my favorite salads to eat in the summer is a Caprese salad. There's something about the thinly sliced tomato, fresh mozzarella and fragrant basil, that makes you feel like you are in a vineyard in Italy. This flatbread turned out with the same vibrant flavors and proved to be my favorite of all three.
Olive Oil For Brushing Flat Bread
1/2 a Tomato, thinly Sliced into half moons
4-5 ounces of Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
A Handful of Roughly Chopped Italian Parsley
*Traditionally in a Caprese, basil is used, however, I ran out of basil, but had plenty of parsley, and since parsley is used so frequently in Italian cooking, it was the perfect substitute.
Brush the flatbread with some olive oil and place tomatoes on top. Place the slices of cheese on top, making sure to cover all surface area. Sprinkle with basil leaves or in this case parsley.
Place in the oven for and place in a 450-degree oven for about 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is all bubbly and melted. Use a pizza slicer or a large knife to cut into pieces. Cut immediately after it comes out so that it does not dry out.



Thai Pork Flat Bread:</u>;</div>
Last week I made some Asian Pulled Pork in my crockpot (that recipe will be on another topic). I had a bunch leftover and had no clue what to do with it. So I froze some of the pork and the rest I used on this flatbread. I added some cilantro leaves and chopped up baby bok choy. Then I drizzled some seasame oil and sesame seeds on top to give it some character. After 8 minutes in the oven it came out looking absolutely perfect. The sauce from the pork melted into the rest of the ingredients and blended everything perfectly.

These little flatbreads were perfect for a night when you want to get your creativity going!

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