Grilled flatbread with mushrooms from the new cookbook 'Hero Food'
My husband likes to go through cookbooks and point out dishes he thinks I should make. Most of the time he's the one who ends up trying them. But last weekend I did listen to a suggestion, a mushroom flatbread from the new “Hero Food” cookbook from New York chef Seamus Mullen, who opened the Spanish restaurant Tertulia in the West Village.
I’d signed up to make the grilled flatbread for a dinner party that night, but an hour before people were supposed to arrive I realized I’d forgotten all about the flatbread. Fortunately, Mullen’s recipe only rises for 30 minutes, so I could just make it. I used a mix of mushrooms, about two pounds in all, everything except the black trumpet mushrooms. Everybody loved it. The crust was lighter than a pizza dough, the better to show off the buttery taste of the mushrooms.
Mullen makes the grilled flatbreads with all sorts of toppings — chorizo and cheese or grilled radicchio and ricotta are two of his suggestions I’m going to try next time we fire up the grill.
(adapted from “Hero Food: How cooking with the delicious things can make us feel better” by Seamus Mullen, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City, MO; 310 pages, $35.)
First make the flatbread dough (recipe below).
Serves 4 as an appetizer.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound shitake mushrooms, stems removed
1/2 pound king oyster mushrooms, sliced into coins
1/2 pound black trumpet mushrooms
`1/2 pound hen-of-the-woods mushrooms
2 shallots, quartered and separated into petals
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
Leaves from 2 sprigs parsley, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the mushrooms, shallots and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vinegar and reduce for 30 seconds. Add the butter, parsley, salt and pepper and sauté for 1 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl.
Grill the flatbreads on one side. Turn, and place 1/4 of the mushroom mixture and dollops of the ricotta on top. Then grill until the bread is cooked through and charred. Cut each flatbread into 3 or 4 pieces to serve.
For the flatbread dough:
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cold butter
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/3 cup luke-warm water and let stand 5 minutes. Once foamy, add the olive oil, egg, and salt. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, work the cold butter with your fingers into 1/4 cup of the flour until well incorporated but clumpy.
Put the yeast/egg mixture in a standing mixer with a dough hook or in a food processor with plastic dough blade and mix at low speed. Gradually add the butter mixture and rest of the flour until dough is smooth and elastic. Remove and knead on flour surface for 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
Preheat the grill (or heavy cast iron skillet).
Divide the dough into 4 balls and roll into 3 by 10 inch ovals. Brush with olive oil and place on oiled upside-down cookie sheets.
Grill two at a time on the hot grill for about 4 minutes each side, until cooked through and charred.
-- S. Irene Virbila
Photos: Flatbread. Credit: S. Irene Virbila/Los Angeles Times.