Friday, May 31, 2013

Roasted White Sweet Potato, Chicken, Caramelized Leek, Manchego and Fennel Pollen Flatbread

I was so excited to be asked by The Hungry Goddess to be part of the Fennel Friday Cooking Club sponsored by Pollen Ranch! This is my first installment of posts for the club and I hope it doesn't disappoint!

Although I love fennel in any way, cooking with fennel pollen was new to me. If you're a fennel fan, you will be thrilled with fennel pollen. It is delicate yet intoxicating and decadent with an aroma that comforts. I was also totally intruiged when I found a white sweet potato, totally new to me! It has a similar flavor, just not as strong. You could absolutely use regular sweet potato if you can't find white. At my supermarket, the white sweets were located in the organic section. 

The theme for this Friday was Pizza or Flatbread and I went with flatbread for a few reasons. Mainly, I wanted something light and crispy, and easy to make that wouldn't be a carb overload. Heading into the summer months in Florida, I was looking for a combination that would be tasty warm out of the oven or perfectly cool for a beach picnic, and I think this is it! The flavors are all very complimentary and don't compete. It's like a perfect little summer syphony in each bite. 


Fennel Pollen
Rudi's Organic Spelt Tortillas (4)
Manchego cheese (1/2 cup, shaved-- I use a veggie peeler)
Pecorino Romano  (1/2 cup, shaved-- I use a veggie peeler)
Grilled Chicken Breast (2 large cut into strips, then grilled)
Rosted White Sweet Potato (1)
Caramelized Leeks (3) 
Pasture Butter
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Makes 4 flatbreads. 

Preheat oven to 375

A lot of these steps can be done ahead of time. It really saves a lot of time for prep when you are ready to make your flatbread. It is also easier to handle the sweet potato if they aren't hot out of the oven.  The night before, I make the chicken on the grill and roast the white sweet potato. 

While the oven is preheating, I get my pizza pan out and set it aside. Then I remove the skin of the potato and put it in a bowl to mash. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil, and grind fresh salt and pepper to taste. Mix and mash it together until it is a spreadable paste-like consistency. I just mashed it with my hands, much easier (and less to clean up) that way. Then shave the manchego and pecorino and set aside. 

In a skillet, melt a tablespoon of pasture butter. Thinly slice the leeks and separate. Toss in the butter and let brown. I like them a little crispy,crunchy. When done, remove from heat and set aside. 

Slice the grilled chicken breast strips into super thin slices. You don't want any of the ingredients to be too heavy since the tortilla is a very delicate vessel and can't withstand a heavy load of ingredients. You don't want it to flop or crumble when you are eating. 

Place the Rudi's Spelt tortillas on the pizza pan and spritz a light dash of olive oil spray (if you have it) then, spread a thin layer of the sweet potato mash on top. Then layer then chicken and leeks. Next a healthy dusting of the Fennel Pollen. Go as heavy or as light as you'd like. A hefty pinch works for me. 

Finally, layer the shaved cheeses on top and place the pan in the preheated oven. Bake for 7 min and check for golden edges of the tortilla. They should be just starting to turn brown. If they aren't quite there yet, put the pan back in the oven for 2-3 minutes. 

Cut each flatbread into 4 pieces. It is delectable hot out of the oven or at room temperature. There is no flavor loss and the flatbread stays crispy. This could be great as a light dinner with a salad, at a cocktail hour, or as a starter at a dinner party.

Happy Dishing! Check back next month for the next Fennel Friday post! 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Mashed Cauliflower

I like to make mashed cauliflower pretty frequently, and I'm actually surprised I haven't posted the recipe sooner. I was even called a "delicious recipe hoarder" recently for withholding it for too long. My apologies. 

Mashed cauliflower is easy to make and wicked tasty. I am always on the lookout for ways to cut starches and rework old favorites. I've been making this for a while as a great substitution for mashed potatoes, and they've been a huge hit! Whether you are trying to cut carbs and avoid starch, or just add some extra veggies they're a big win. The flavor is awesome, and the texture is pretty similar to mashed potatoes, and you really won't feel like you are missing out. 

1 Head Cauliflower - cut into florets
1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan or Romano (or a blend) 
1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt 
1/4 Cup Whipped Cream Cheese

Pasture Butter
Truffle Salt 
Shredded Cheddar

You will need an immersion blender or a hand held masher. I use my immersion blender for so many things, it is so worth investing in one if you don't already have one. You can find really reasonable options. 

Steam or boil the cauliflower until fork tender. You don't want it to be firm since you'll need to puree it. 
Drain the water and move to a large bowl. Add the cheese, yogurt and cream cheese. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. You may need to increase the amounts of cream cheese and yogurt, depending on how creamy you like it. I like to add a bit of sharp shredded cheddar and a pinch of black truffle salt. 

Once all ingredients are combined, use your masher or immersion blender and, whip it good! Once you've reached the desired consistency, taste and season accordingly.