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Challenge 5 - Flatbread Challenge
Posted by Lori Ross - Viewed 22788 times

Dear Lori,

Please create 5 recipes, which should include breakfast, lunch and dinner,
using any type (wheat, plain, spinach, etc.) of "flat bread".


My husband and I are BoatU.S. members.  We sail our Beneteau 40CC locally around Charleston, SC and further afield.   With limited space in my galley, refrigerator and freezer.  Loaf bread takes up a lot of space.   So, I have found that flat bread (I use that term loosely as one can think of wraps, flour tortillas, etc. as a flat bread cousins) can easily be stored just about anywhere. They can be rolled or folded into just about any shape without compromising their intended use.  They can be incorporated into any morning, daytime or evening meal or snack, depending on how you choose to be creative in cooking with them. Hot or cold, they adapt.

Although I have never attempted to make flat bread, it seems easy enough, especially since milk and eggs are not essential ingredients. So I guess a recipe for making them could be added to the challenge.

Pam Bray
Charleston, SC

 Dear Pam,

Flatbreads are some of the oldest breads on earth, preceding the discovery of leavening agents such as wild yeast, which enabled bread to rise. Almost every culture has a version of flatbread  that it tops and/or wraps around its favorite foods for breakfast, lunch or dinner – South and Central American tortilla, burritos and tacos; Native American fry bread, Middle Eastern lavash, flatbreads; European crepes; Indian chapati, naan and roti, and Asian pancakes and rice paper wraps. Today, there are more than 60 different flatbreads made worldwide. They may be served flat, rolled, folded, layered, stuffed and eaten warm, cold, grilled, crisped, baked or sautéed. 
Flatbreads are great for appetizers, sandwiches, main courses or desserts!   For that reason, I am intrigued by this challenge and your perspective on flatbreads as efficient space savers on boats.  Because there are so many flatbreads made throughout the world and most chain or gourmet grocery stores carry several varieties, I am reluctant to offer a recipe for making a single type of flatbread.  Instead, I refer you to Saveur Magazine’s website which features authentic recipes for many types of flatbreads and wraps.

I have listed here five different styles of flatbreads:

Wrapped – Hot Breakfast Tortilla Wrap
Rolled- Tortilla Pinwheel Appetizer
Layered- Flatbread Lasagna
Flat – Flatbread Pizza
Stuffed – Flatbread Burgers


WRAPPED - Hot Breakfast Tortilla Wrap
At a little coffee shop in Old Saybrook, CT, I tasted a delicious egg, pepper, onion, bacon and cheese tortilla wrap that was assembled, folded, then sautéed until the wrap was golden and insides melting.  I can still taste that the crispy edges of the tortilla, the soft egg and crunchy bacon. Serves 4.

Four tortillas 12 inches (any flavor you like)
4 eggs
1 tbsp water
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
8 slices of bacon cooked crispy and crumbled
1 pepper diced
1 onion diced
4 slices cheese (any kind you like)
2 tbs butter
Sautee onion and pepper in ½ tablespoon butter.  Lay tortillas on flat surface
Preheat oven to 350°

Wrap tortillas tightly in a large sheet of foil and warm in oven 5 to 10 minutes (or microwave each tortilla on plate for 20-30 seconds. Meanwhile, sauté onion and pepper in ½ tablespoon of butter until softened (about 8 minutes).  Whisk together eggs, water, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper in a medium bowl. Add egg mixture to onions and peppers in skillet and cook, stirring to scramble, until just cooked through. Remove from heat. Turn off oven.

For each wrap: place a tortilla on a flat surface, spoon one fourth of bacon, one fourth of egg mixture, one slice of cheese in vertical rows across center, leaving room to fold over bottom and sides. Fold bottom of tortilla over most of filling, then fold over sides, overlapping them. Repeat for each tortilla.  Melt remaining butter in skillet and sauté the wrapped tortillas on medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, pressing wrap down on each side with spatula for 30 seconds on each side, cooking until wrap is golden brown.  Serve hot with salsa and hot sauce if you wish.

Variations for Lunch:

Tuna Melt: Replace egg, bacon, onions and pepper with warmed tuna (shrimp, crab or chicken salad) topped with a slice of cheese and a few chopped walnuts, then sauté as above.
Ham and Cheese Melt: Replace egg, bacon, onions and pepper with ham (roast beef, turkey, chicken or sausage are good too!) and top with a little mustard, mayo, sliced pickle and cheese and proceed as above.
Veggie Melt: Replace egg, bacon with sautéed onion, pepper, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes or spinach and top with cheese of your choice and proceed with recipe.

ROLLED - Tortilla Pinwheel Appetizers
1 lb smoked salmon
½ lb goat cheese or boursin
1 small red onion (diced)
¼ cup capers
6 flour tortillas – 10-12 inch spinach or tomato is pretty!
Microwave tortillas for 10-20 seconds until they are soft and flexible. Lay tortillas on a flat surface and spread a layer of goat cheese across the whole surface to the edges, then lay the salmon in a thin layer on the cheese, top with ¼ of the onion and capers and roll into a tight log.  Repeat until all tortillas are filled. Slice each tortilla into 6 pieces.  Makes 36 appetizers.  Serve cold or room temperature.  Serves 4-6.

Replace salmon with thin sliced roast beef, turkey, ham, tuna, and crab or baby shrimp.
Replace goat cheese with cream cheese and continue with recipe.
Replace goat cheese and meat/seafood with tuna salad, chicken salad, and crab or shrimp salad.

Heated variation: 
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Once rolls are sliced, lay on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until browned and cheese is bubbling.  Some nice combinations for warm pinwheels are:
Southwestern: Ground beef with taco seasoning and shredded Mexican blend cheese in tomato tortillas. Serve with salsa.
Mexican: Cream cheese with sliced pickled jalapenos, grated jack cheese and chopped tomatoes in spinach tortillas.  Serve with Salsa.
Old Bay: Cream cheese, crabmeat, minced onions, Old Bay seasoning and grated cheddar in spinach tortillas.  Serve with a sprinkling of Old Bay.
Spinach: Cream cheese, spinach, minced garlic, grated parmesan.

LAYERED - Flatbread Lasagna
1 lb ground chicken or beef
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups ricotta
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups marinara sauce (homemade or from a jar)
4 large spinach or tomato tortillas
2 cups shredded mozzarella (12 ounces)

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a skillet, cook the ground meat in the oil over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat, until browned. Season the ricotta with salt and pepper. Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce in a deep-dish pie plate. Top with 1 flatbread, one-third of the meat, and 1/2 cup each of the ricotta and mozzarella. Repeat the layering twice more. Add 1/2 cup of sauce and the last flatbread. Top with the remaining 1 cup of sauce and ½ cup of mozzarella. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 minutes longer. Let cool for 20 minutes and serve. Serves 4.

Southwestern Lasagna: Saute ground meat with a package of prepared taco seasoning or ½ teaspoon each of chili powder, cumin and ¼ cup red onion.  Replace tomato sauce with mild or medium taco sauce or salsa. Replace ricotta with refried beans and mozzarella with shredded jack cheese.  Proceed with recipe as described above and top lasagna with finely chopped scallions and sour cream when serving.
Veggie Lasagna:  Replace ground meat with lightly sautéed fresh spinach or finely chopped broccoli or other cooked, finely chopped veggies (eggplant, zucchini, onions, peppers).
Thicker: Replace tortillas with pita bread or naan or other thick flatbread

FLAT - Flatbread pizza
One package of lavash bread (usually comes in 4 large sheets in one package) or 1 package of large tortillas
¼ cup olive oil
Pinch of dried herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary) for each pizza
2 cups of pizza sauce or thick tomato sauce
1 cup each of pizza toppings of your choice (onion, pepper, mushroom, black olives, tomatoes, pepperoni, crumbled sausage, garlic, anchovies)
1 -2 cups cheese: mozzarella, parmesan, goat cheese or other cheese you like
Cookie sheet or Pizza stone

Pre-heat oven with pizza stone or baking sheet to 400 degrees.  Lightly brush flatbread with oil and sprinkle with pinch of dried oregano or basil. Spread a thin layer of sauce, a thin layer of mozzarella or other cheese and pizza toppings of your choice.  Do not overload the thin bread with toppings and sauce.  Using a pizza peel or large spatula, place pizza on stone or cookie sheet in a hot oven. Bake approximately 3-6 minutes (depending on heat of your oven) or until flatbread is golden brown at the edges and cheese has melted. Cut with pizza cutter or bread knife. Eat each pizza immediately as it comes out of the oven. Serves 4.

Grilled pizza: Preheat grill on high with pizza stone or pan, make pizza of your choice, place on grill, cook on high for 2-3 minutes maximum until crust is crunchy, browned and cheese melted.
White pizza: Omit tomato sauce, sprinkle oiled flatbread with chopped garlic, top with a little mozzarella and parmesan.
Clam Casino pizza:  Make white pizza and top with chopped, canned clams, chopped bacon, parsley and grated lemon

STUFFED - Flatbread Burgers
4 pitas with pockets or naan (or tortillas may be used successfully)
1 pound ground beef, turkey or lamb
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional)
1 clove roasted garlic, mashed into a paste
2 tablespoons hot sauce (optional)

Mix meats with the rest of ingredients and form into 4 oval patties. Grill until almost cooked to taste. Over each patty, melt cheese of your choice (mozzarella, blue cheese, cheddar, Swiss).  Stuff into warm pita pocket, fold into warmed naan, or wrap in a tortilla folded in half (warmed in oven or microwave) and serve with mustard, relish, ketchup, mayonnaise, onions and tomatoes. Serves 4.

Flatbread Dogs: replace burgers with hot dogs or sausages topped with cheese, onions, mustard and relish.  For a special treat, top dog with chili and jalapenos!

Flatbread Chicken:
replace burger with skinless, boneless chicken breasts marinated in Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, oil, garlic and hot sauce. Grill chicken, top with cheese and a slice or two of cooked bacon and proceed with recipe.  Chicken flatbread is especially good served with onion, barbeque sauce and honey mustard!


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