Helen K. suggested our next Secret Ingredient and because she did, Helen has won a $25 gift of chocolate from Fannie May Chocolates (mmm... my favorite!).
But... we here at Mystery Lovers Kitchen were so excited about *another* ingredient, submitted by our good friend and grill-guy, Dave, that we've been inspired to try something new. Stay tuned and we may have some surprises in store in the coming months. Thanks, Dave!
Helen - feel free to contact me at JulieHyzy(at)gmail(dot)com. Otherwise, I'll be in touch soon.
The fun part of this is that Helen suggested so many ingredients that I'm sure she doesn't even know which one it is! We'll reveal our Secret Ingredient during our next Iron Chef week. (Hint - late February.)
Now back to our regularly scheduled blog...
For my birthday a couple of months back, my family and I went out to one of our favorite local restaurants, Cooper's Hawk, which is also a wonderful winery. I love the place - good energy, fabulous service, consistently great food.
They had recently added some new flatbreads to the appetizer menu and we opted to try the Caprese version. Heck, we all love Caprese salads, so why not?
Was it fabulous? Oh, yes. My vegetarian daughter loved it most of all, and we've ordered it again and again...
But what to do between visits? I decided to try to make a Caprese Flatbread at home.
First of all, remember that you can change/adjust/eliminate/add any ingredients to suit your tastes. Feel free to build on this basic recipe. It's fun.
1 pkg frozen bread dough. (These usually come in packs of three. I defrost
one at a time, and then cut the loaf in thirds. One-third of a loaf makes a good-sized flatbread)
Fresh tomatoes, sliced
Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
Fresh basil leaves, chopped
Fresh garlic cloves, crushed and minced
Purple onion, sliced in to super-slim half-rounds
Italian salad dressing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Knead, then roll out the 1/3 chunk of defrosted frozen bread dough. The last photo is of two 1/3 chunks, rolled out. The rolling can get a little bit frustrating because the dough really, really wants to stay in chunk form. But it eventually behaves. I intended to make nice, straight rectangles -- I wanted them to look just like the ones at Coopers Hawk -- as you can see, the shapes turned out more like paramecium =) I could have cut off the edges, but why? This was for my family and the more flatbread, the better.
Spray a cookie sheet/jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray and transfer the rolled-out dough onto the sheet. Combine olive oil (about 2 - 3 TBSP) with minced garlic. Brush the dough with it. Bake until the flattened bread begins to brown. Bubbles may form during baking, and you can just pop them with the sharp end of a knife or a fork. My bread took about 20 minutes to brown, but I would suggest you leave it in just a little bit longer.
Once it's nicely browned, bring it topside on your stove, and decide if you think it needs more olive oil/garlic. We love garlic, so we usually add a bit more. Add sliced mozzarella, tomatoes, onions and top with chopped basil leaves. Once it's all arranged and looks pretty, drizzle a little Italian salad dressing and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Return the flatbread to the oven and bake until edges start to crisp. In these photos, I didn't leave them in quite long enough and the edges are still a little
soft. They tasted great, but we discovered that we prefer them just a little bit more crispy.
As I mentioned, you can add any ingredients you prefer. Other cheeses, other herbs. I bet this would be fabulous with roasted peppers. Hope you have fun eggsperimenting!
(Sorry, couldn't resist throwing in a plug for Eggsecutive Orders! LOL)