Dear Friends & Eaters,
Hurricane Sandy is howling at the full moon while I am writing. Yesterday I went grocery shopping and the line at Fairway, Citarella and Trader Joe was unbelievable. I never thought I would see bouncers in front of a grocery store as if it was a hot Meatpacking Club. I never thought I would see old ladies fighting over the last whole chicken. But, after buying all the groceries and supplies I needed I came back home to start cooking. The Hurricane Sandy Menu consists of roasted chicken thighs with quinoa and collard greens, chicken cutlets, bacon onion and asiago flatbread and croque monsieur. I may make some arancini just for the heck of it but I am not sure yet….
Comfort Food makes the Hurricane so much more manageable, right? and that’s why I decided to make this Italian Spin on Tarte Alsacienne. As my husband put it: if you have to spend time with someone during a hurricane, you’d prefer a crazy cook like me. And when the unstoppable cook meets the unfillable stomach, that is when real memories are made!
This recipe is perfect for entertaining and it is a real crowd pleaser especially when it comes out of a hot oven! You can make it into individual pies and serve it in your bread basket for dinner or brunch.
For the Flatbread:
- 4 cups of whole wheat flour
- 1 bag of dry active yeast
- 1 1/2 cups of warm water
- 1 cup of EVOO
- 2 tbsp of salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
To proof the yeast place water, dry active yeast and sugar in a bowl and wait until the mixture creates a foam un the surface. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the water and yeast mixture and the oil. Knead the dough until it comes together. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until it is doubled. deflate the dough by punching it. Roll the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Preheat the oven at 400F.
For the Topping:
- 2 medium white onions, sliced
- pancetta, cubed
- 1/2 cups white wine
- 2 cups of asiago cheese
In a pan over medium heat, sauté the pancetta with the onions and the thyme. When the fat of the pancetta is rendered and the onions start to caramelize, deglaze the pan with the wine. Keep cooking, stirring every 5 minutes until the onions are brown and the pancetta is crispy but the mixture is still moist.
Place the onion pancetta mixture on the dough and sprinkle the asiago on top. Bake until the dough is cooked and the cheese is melted (about 15 minutes).