Yesterday I was called upon to cook for an impromptu party. My meal of choice: clam chowder (I'll share later), San Marzano Tomato Flatbread, and Ghirardelli double chocolate brownies.
This flatbread was Devoured by our friends. I do a capital 'D' because it was eaten that fast! I meant for it to be dipped into the soup but instead everyone just stood over it and chowed. I'll take that as a compliment any day of the week! San Marzano Tomato Flatbread with Garlic Chips Flatbread 1 tsp active yeast 1 cup warm water 1 tsp sugar 2 1/2 cups bread flour 1 tsp kosher salt 2 tbsp oil oil Sauce 1 28 ounce can of San Marzano whole tomatoes (San Marzano tomatoes are considered the best tomatoes in the world. I buy by the case.) Splash of white wine 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp salt Topping 3 cloves of garlic 1/4 cup fresh oregano 1 tbsp dry oregano 1/4 cup olive oil
In a warm bowl mix the yeast, sugar and water together and let sit for a few minutes. Add the olive oil. Add a cup of flour and then the salt. Mixing with a fork add the rest of the flour. With the heel of your hand, knead the dough about 20 times to build up the gluten. Let rise until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
Take the skin off the garlic and thinly slice. On low to medium heat, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan. Once the oil is heated cook the garlic to slowly crisp. Stir occasionally. Once crisp remove the garlic from the oil. Save the oil.
In a saucepan, place the tomatoes. Before heating, squish the tomatoes repeatedly between your fingers to break them down. Add the sugar, salt, and wine. Simmer on low until the tomatoes the liquid is gone. This will take approximately a 1/2 hour.
Sprinkle your counter with all purpose flour. Place the dough on the counter and cut in four equal pieces. Roll the dough out in long strips about 5 inches wide. Roll it as thin as you can.
Place parchment paper on 2 baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and spread it evenly with a paper towel. Place the flatbread strips on the baking sheets. Brush on the garlic oil that you saved. Spread the flatbread with the tomato paste. Sprinkle the fresh oregano, dry oregano and garlic chips evenly over the flatbread. Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes until crisp.
Food is so intriguing. I’ve always loved to cook whether it’s casual and simple or complicated and elegant. After living in the Midwestern United States all my life I find myself jumping between All-American foods and foods from other cultures. There is definitely a sense of comfort with cooking and enjoying food that I’ve grown up with.
I have a voracious curiosity to learn about all cultures, especially the Middle East/Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai foods. I’ve learned that a simple curry dish or an Asian dumpling can transform your mood and be just as much of a comfort food as the foods you’ve known you’re whole life.
It is fascinating to me how each culture has such a diversity of ingredients, and when used with different combinations and cooking techniques you can easily transform the same few ingredients into a multitude of dishes. The unfamiliar, the diverse ingredients and techniques, can be intimidating to many people. I’ve created this blog to chronicle and share my explorations in the kitchen so that hopefully you will want to start experimenting in your kitchen.