I’m finally back to cooking again after the Chaos that was the last two weeks. There’s no big grocery stores near us, so it looks like this year I am going to be doing a lot of shopping at Farmer’s Markets or small specialty shops, which I think will be fun! We are also going to join a CSA when June rolls around. My friend Zoe used to work at Hearty Roots and recommended that one to me (who better to trust that a trusty farmer friend!). Others I’ve been looking into are Southside CSA and Greenpoint-Williamsburg CSA. Anybody who has experience with any of these, I would love to hear your feedback!
As you know, I was somewhat-recently gifted “New American Table” with recipes by Marcus Samuelsson. I love this cookbook so much. First of all, he organizes it in such a cook-friendly way, making separate sections for ‘Everyday’ and ‘Weekend’. There’s an amazing section of sauces and rubs. And I absolutely love the photographs he uses. Photos of restaurants and scenes around small towns in America and images of his family cooking various dishes give you a feeling of really being part of a great food culture and also tell the story of his personal journey. He was actually born in Ethiopia, his mother passed away from tuberculosis when he was 3 years old, and he and his older sister were adopted by a Swedish couple. The book includes everything from comfort food and Southern cooking to new twists on Middle Eastern and Japanese. Its an amazingly eclectic collection of recipes and you can find something in there for almost any occasion. I haven’t had a failed recipe yet. Marcus Samuelsson has 3 restaurants in New York: Aquavit, Riingo, and Red Rooster . He was named Best Chef: New York City by the James Beard Foundation in 2003.
So the other night I flipped through his cookbook to make my grocery list for the week. And the other night, I made his Prosciutto Flatbread. This is like PIZZA times WHOA. The crust itself its shoved with spices. And the topping is a mixture of cooked and raw ingredients. Almost every time I follow a recipe, I use more of everything that adds flavor. One clove of garlic means 2-3. 2 shallots means 3. A pinch of paprika often means a large pinch, or a couple small pinches. I just generally find a lot of recipes to be on the bland side, and its better to add some extra zing with spices than to pile it with some condiment or sauce or salt and pepper later.
I never have to do that with these recipes. Marcus really knows how to make a dish that is full of flavor, and doesn’t skimp on anything. This recipe is absolutely no exception. It’s great for both dinner or cutting up into little bite-size pieces and serving as an hors d’oeuvre.
Adapted (just slightly) from New American Table
For the topping
3/4 pint mixed cherry tomatoes, sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Flatbread recipe (see below)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into 12 slices
5 basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup baby arugula, chopped
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
8 thin slices prosciutto
Preheat the oven to 400°. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, 1 teaspoons of the red pepper flakes, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a bowl. Spread the mixture over the baked flatbread. Season with salt and pepper and top with 6 slices of the mozzarella. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 10 minutes.
While the pizza is baking, toss the basil, arugula, and olives with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Remove the pizza from the oven. Place the remaining 6 slices of mozzarella on the baked pizza and top with the basil-arugula mixture, then the prosciutto slices.
(makes 1 flatbread)
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat a small saute pan over low heat. Add the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and oregano and toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons water. Let cool slightly.
Lightly whisk the egg yolks and egg in a medium bowl. Stir in the spiced milk and set aside.
Combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the egg mixture into the center. Using a fork or your hands, slowly gather the flour into the liquid, adding more flour as needed, until a dough forms.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for another 10 minutes.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 10-inch round. Using a fork, prick holes all over the surface of the dough. If using a baking stone, place the dough directly on the stone. Otherwise, place the dough on an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.