Guest Columnist – Firecracker Flatbread

Posted: July 3, 2012 in Pizza
Tags: , , ,

Preface – When I read this guest column, my pride for Eric shot through the roof. He embraces what food offers for the body and the soul, and his elegant words capture the fine details of a truly perfect dish. – Brian

Written By: Eric DeSalvo

Sometimes some of the tastiest meals are the ones you make. And sometimes they are the ones you had no intention of whipping up. That’s what happened when I walked into Publix on a rainy Wednesday night after getting a workout in. The best part of my favorite supermarket is all of the deals, mostly BOGOs (buy one, get one), that are put out in front as you walk in. One item in particular caught my eye–Mama Mary’s Flatbread pizza dough with crushed red pepper baked in. Ever since my voyage to Flagstaff, Ariz., where I spent two years, I decided to really turn up the spice in my life when it comes to food. Crushed red pepper became a mainstay in my kitchen and has livened up plenty of great dishes that ended up in my belly.

With my flatbread in hand, I knew I was going to need to jazz it up with some more ingredients. Any good grownup pie these days needs some vegetables. I headed over to the produce section and instantly grabbed a sweet onion and green pepper. But I wanted more. I decided to live life on the edge and purchased an orange bell pepper along with a fresh jalapeno. Adding to this medley of veggies, I heaped on some browned ground turkey, Bertoli olive oil and garlic pasta sauce and pepper jack cheese. If that array of ingredients doesn’t send you over the top, I don’t know what will.

Prep work:

-First I took one of the two flatbreads that came in the package and dabbled on some olive oil to give the crust that little extra flavor.

-I busted out the cutting board and got to work on my veggies, slicing half of each pepper while dicing up the jalapeno by hand as well. I added about 1/4 of an onion to the mix as well. (Side note: use gloves when slicing up a fresh jalapeno. Although you won’t feel it right away, the juice from the pepper will set your hands on fire, so be careful!)

-After slicing and dicing, I put the veggies in a skillet with some olive oil and sautéed them up.

-With the best pasta sauce one could ask for spread across the crust, I sprinkled on the ground turkey and proceeded to load on the freshly sautéed veggies. I topped of this tasty treat with Sargento shredded pepper jack cheese.

-With the oven preheated to 450, I slid the round cookie tray in for nine minutes to let the flavors collide.

Eying the cheese melted perfectly, I took the pie out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes and cool down. I busted out my biggest knife to slice this bad boy and realized I really need to invest in a pizza cutter, but who cares, I’m cheap. With each slice loaded to the gills with ingredients, I could only devour just half of this flatbread in one sitting. As I took my first bite, I could taste the heat from the jalapenos, the sweet bell peppers and the crushed red pepper and of course the tasty garlic pasta sauce. It was surely my finest pizza creation and my Sicilian ancestors would be very proud!

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