Thursday, June 28, 2007

Speckled flatbreads and an interesting spinach-bake...

Still have a few more recipes to go until we are somewhat caught up on the ones we have been waiting to post about. These two recipes I'm posting about tonight are ones that we had this past weekend. Jeff has really taken to homemade cracker-like breads or flatbreads as of late and I came across these Chilli Flatbreads in an import magazine that we don't often get - the Delicious Magazine from Australia.

With just a few basic ingredients, this flatbread raced up our list of "must make again" recipes as it was very flavorful for how quick it came together. It is a very lean dough with no added fat, except for a bit of golden olive oil that is brushed on the dough for color and crispness as it bakes. Isn't it amazing how the simple combination of flour, yeast, salt and water can be taken into so many different directions just by altering the amounts? The dough was a little sticky for me to roll out easily, so I ended up having to add a bit more flour than I am used to - I'm guessing I used a light hand while dusting the dough as I kneaded it and probably could have added another 1/4 cup or so. As you roll out the little dough balls, the flecks of diced bright red chillies and dried green parsley begin to emerge and make themselves quite visible. We loved the texture of these flatbreads once they were baked - they were crisp on the outside, but still had enough thickness in the middle to give them some chew.

We just enjoyed them plain, but I bet these would make a killer platform for a variety of spreads or maybe to serve as an edible base for a light salad on top.

I also served this Spinach-Cheese Bake the same night. I had some hesitation while preparing this dish as it didn't look like it was going to work, but once it came bubbling out of the oven my fears were quickly put to rest. See, the recipe has you stuff 12 ounces of tender baby spinach into a 9" x 13" baking dish - this almost filled our dish up to the very top! I am used to wilting the spinach first in a dish like this, but this recipe had other plans! Topping the generous mound of greens is a combination of sharp white cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Milk, eggs, egg whites, Dijon mustard, salt, baking powder, pepper, fresh grated nutmeg and cayenne pepper are mixed together and then added to a bit of flour to bind it all together. This is then poured over the spinach and cheeses - I did have to press my spinach down to get the liquid to come up to the top, but it still didn't cover it all. I didn't need to worry though...the eggs and baking powder worked their magic as it baked and helped the liquid bubble up and cover any pieces sticking out on top. I wouldn't call this the most flavorful dish ever, but it did fare well enough from the mustard, cayenne and nutmeg. I know that not everyone likes nutmeg in savory dishes, so you may want to think about that when adding it. I found that I could taste it more in this recipe for some reason - it usually just adds a little "something" in the background, but it was more noticeable here. Be sure to use your best sharp cheese to give this the most flavor - it might be a bit bland if you go with something that doesn't lend enough of a punch. With so much fresh spinach, it was fun to see how much the layers showed up as we sliced these into tidy little rectangles - I wonder if these would hold up well enough to be cut into little squares and skewered on a toothpick to serve as an appetizer-type dish?


  1. Yum, those cookies look devine, Jeff is a lucky guy! I may have to start a Wednesday treat day.

  2. Lovely. The flatbread looks great but I am loving that spinach bake. I agree Jeff, is lucky.

  3. That spinach cake looks wonderful, I love finding new recipes for different veggie dishes. Thanks, Joe!

  4. Mmm, those flatbread are just calling eat me. I'm going to have to get into the bread making :)

    Spinach bake looks lovely too, really pretty whith the cross sections of green.

  5. The spinach bake looks GREAT, but you didn't mention how it tastes?
    Is it good??

  6. Anon - The treat days are lots of fun and gives me more reasons to experiment!

    Meeta - Thanks!

    Pille - Me too and it is fun to try them out!

    Kelly - Making bread is a stress reliever for me!

    Anon - It was very good!

  7. Yum! That spinach bake looks so tempting! I just bought a bag of spinach....hmmmmmm! :)

  8. I tried the spinach bake with extra sharp cheddar & pepper jack - very tasty!