Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What's for Dinner? Wednesday: Argentinian Flatbread Pizza for a Healthy Day One of 2014!



Last month seemed to be a month of pizza. At the beginning of the month, I hosted a giveaway contest for a Seasons 52 gift card good for one flatbread pizza. Last week, I was enjoying my favorite pizza of all time at Pizzeria Regina’s in Boston, Massachusetts.  Somehow, I still can’t get enough of this tasty meal so to start the New Year, I’m sharing with you one of my favorite flatbread pizza recipes of all time.  

The recipe is for Argentinian Flatbread Pizza and was originally published by Cooking Light.  I’ve saved this recipe for New Year’s Day because you’ll be making your own dough and that can be a little too time-intensive for a normal weeknight. However, if you have today off today the dough making process shouldn’t interfere with your schedule. Use the hour it takes for the dough to rise to enjoy a little cat nap to feel ready to go back to work tomorrow because you're well rested and well fed.  

The ingredients listed below allow you to make the flatbread base, a black bean spread topping, and roasted red peppers in your own kitchen. If you are short on time, you’re more than welcome to buy your own dough and/or roasted peppers.  I won’t judge!  

Read on to find out what you’ll need to make this delicious flatbread and the black bean spread:

Black Bean Spread Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 - 15  oz can black beans, rinsed and drained 
1 - 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained

Flatbread Base and Topping Ingredients:

1 red bell pepper
1 tbsp cornmeal
Cooking spray
1 tbsp yeast
1/8 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp garlic, minced

How to make your delicious flatbread pizza:
*If making your own Roasted Red Peppers, preheat the broiler now

Step One: To save time, make your flatbread dough first.  You’ll need your yeast, sugar, half a cup of warm water, and a bowl.  Pour the water in the bowl and use it to dissolve the yeast and sugar.  Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes so the yeast wakes up, gets something to eat, and gets ready to make the CO2 that will allow your dough to rise (did I mention I used to teach Biology? we had  a whole lab about yeast. It was a lot of fun except for when it came time to grade lab reports….).  

Step Two: While you’re waiting on your yeast, get your flour ready.  If you live someplace humid, like, oh, I don’t know, Houston, TX, try to measure the flour with a kitchen scale.  It will come out a LOT more scrumptious.  Once you have your three cups ready, add them, another half cup of warm water, and salt to your yeast mixture.  Stir it up until you’ve made flatbread dough.  Plop that bad boy in your bread machine if you have one (if you don't have one, you need to get on that-best kitchen gadget eva!).  If you don’t have a bread machine yet, get ready to get a little sticky.  Add some flour to a clean surface where you can knead your dough.  You’ll want to work on it for about 10 minutes so that it is smooth and flexible.  

Step Three: Set your dough up to do it’s thing! Find a bowl that could fit two balls of your flatbread dough and coat it with cooking spray.  Place your smooth ball of dough in the bowl, cover it, and place it in a warm place for about 1 hr or until it grows to double it’s original size. 

Before you take your nap, take the time to prepare the Black Bean Spread and Roasted Red Peppers by moving on to Step Four. Or don't-it takes about 1 minute to make the spread and 12 mins of cooking time to make the peppers...

Step Four: Make your Roasted Red Peppers. If you have the time, this will save you some good $$ since it's a lot cheaper to make your own that to buy pre-made peppers.  All you need to do is make sure your broiler is heated up and find a pepperCut the pepper in half lengthwise and remove any seeds and white sections.  Then line a baking sheet with tin foil and place the pepper halves on top skin side up.  Press on the peppers with your hand to flatten them and then pop them in the broiler for 12 minutes.  When they’re done they’ll be slightly blackened.  Put your freshly roasted red peppers in a zip-lock bag and seal them for 10 minutes before cutting them into smaller strips.  

Step Four point Five: Make your Black Bean Spread while your peppers are cooking or hanging out.  All you need to do is put your beans, onion, and tomatoes in a blender and whip them up until the original parts can’t be distinguished from one another.  You’ll only need 1.5 cups for the pizza so measure that out and then save the rest for a healthy dip!

Step Five: Back to business and flatbread time.  Check on your dough and if it has risen enough, preheat your oven to 450 degrees to get it ready.  Then, find a baking sheet and sprinkle your cornmeal on top.  Take your dough and roll it out to a 14 x 11 inch size before placing it on your baking sheet.  Then, get your 1.5 cups of designated Flatbread Black Bean Spread and spread it over dough. Sprinkle the top of the flatbread with your Parmesan cheese before putting it in the oven to bake at 450° for 13 minutes.

Step Six: While your flatbread is cooking, make your chimichurri drizzle. To do this, place your parsley and the remaining ingredients in bowl and mix to combine them.

Step Seven:  When your flatbread is done cooking in the oven, drizzle your freshly made chimichurri mixture on top. Cut up a slice and top it with your freshly (or store fresh) roasted red peppers.



Have you ever made your own flatbread pizza? Is planning on cooking this recipe a New Year’s Resolution you’d keep? Share your thoughts below and enjoy your first day of 2014!