Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread

Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread

May is National Barbecue Month…

So fire up your grill for this amazing Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread. There’s so much that can be cooked on the barbeque/grill and today I’m gonna tell you how easy it is to grill bread.

You would normally think that the dough would stick terribly to the grates, however, as the dough cooks and forms a crust on the bottom it pulls away from the grates making it virtually non stick. There is a fine line between perfectly golden and crispy to overdone, so you want to watch it closely. Depending on your grill and heat setting, the first side takes only 5-6 minutes to form that slightly charred crust.

Tips for grilling bread

1. Grill small portions of bread instead of one large piece. This not only allows for more uniform cooking, but it’s also easier to flatten and move smaller portions to the grill.
2. Don’t try to make the flatbread perfectly shaped, it just won’t happen! The dough shrinks up and morphs into a shape of its own when you pick it up and move it to the grill. It’s okay to be a little rustic!
3. Make sure your grill is scraped clean to prevent sticking. A small amount of non-stick spray applied before grilling can also help.
4. Don’t overcrowd the toppings. The dough is almost cooked when you flip it over, therefore too many toppings will require an excessive amount of time to heat through, causing the dough to overcook.
5. Have all your toppings ready prior to starting.
6. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your favourite toppings, but if you’re aiming for something smothered in melty cheese this type of flatbread is not for you. Too much cheese will not melt in the time it takes the flatbread to cook.
7. When camping, make the dough at home ahead of time. After the first rise split dough in half, punch down and seal in two medium freezer bags. Place in fridge or freezer to stop the rising process. Allow to come to room temperature and proceed with recipe.

Grilling is a huge part of our cooking during the summer months, both at home and when we are out camping and overlanding. You can see more of what we do outdoors at Mark Bouliane – YouTube Eating well and having fun with food is important to us, both at home and when travelling in our jeep. Because the grill is our primary cooking source when adventuring outdoors, dishes like Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread only adds to the fun of it all and makes us feel like we aren’t compromising. It’s great at home or anywhere else you happen to grill. Enjoy!

Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread cut into wedges on a wooden cutting board.
Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    2 12x8 flatbreads 50 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    10 minutes 70-80 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    2 12x8 flatbreads 50 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    10 minutes 70-80 minutes
    Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread cut into wedges on a wooden cutting board.
    Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      2 12x8 flatbreads 50 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      10 minutes 70-80 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      2 12x8 flatbreads 50 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      10 minutes 70-80 minutes
      Ingredients
      Dough
      Flatbread
      Servings: 12x8 flatbreads
      Instructions
      Dough
      1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together water, honey and yeast. Allow to ferment for 6-8 minutes.
      2. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of flour, olive oil and salt. Begin kneading, allowing all the flour to be absorbed before adding more. Add additional flour gradually until dough is soft, subtle and no longer sticky to the touch, about 8 minutes. The exact amount of flour will vary.
      3. Lightly coat a large bowl with olive oil. Shape dough into a ball and place in bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm, draft free area until double in size, about 1 hour.
      Flatbread
      1. Slice prosciutto into 1/4" strips. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high and cook prosciutto until crisp, stirring often. This will take 8-10 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
      2. Preheat grill to medium.
      3. Cut the woody 1-2" off the bottom of the asparagus spears. If they are thick spears, shave the bottoms lightly with a vegetable peeler to make them uniform in width. Rub spears lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
      4. Place asparagus directly on grill against the grain of the grills. Grill for 4-6 minutes until crisp-tender, turning once or twice. Remove from grill and set aside.
      5. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, basil, salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cut asparagus into 1" pieces and toss with a drizzle of lemon and oil, saving the remainder for finished flatbread.
      6. Deflate the dough by kneading 3-4 times and divide the dough into two portions. Cover lightly and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. This will help relax the dough and make it easier to flatten. Spread and press one portion out to an approximate 13"x8" rectangle on a flat, movable surface like a cutting board or back of a baking tray.
      7. Peel dough off of surface in one motion if possible and lay on preheated grill. Spread out corners slightly if possible. Close lid and cook for about 5-6 minutes until golden and crisp on the bottom. The time will vary depending on your grill and heat setting. Poke any large air bubbles and flip dough over.
      8. Immediately scatter on half of the asparagus, prosciutto and crumbled goat cheese. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of parmesan and close the lid. Allow to cook for 3-4 more minutes to warm toppings and finish cooking the dough. Remove to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and lemon juice and serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      -The dough will shrink up some when transferred to the grill, there's no stopping this, don't fight it!  I can usually grab and stretch out a couple corners once it is on the grill, but once it's on I don't mess with it much.

       

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      Cedar Plank Potatoes

      Cedar Plank Potatoes

      Want glorious potatoes, creamy on the inside, golden on the outside, without turning on your oven?  You will when you get a look at these amazing Cedar Plank Potatoes.  Mashed potatoes get amped up with a good helping of roasted garlic (also cooked on the grill if you want), fresh herbs and cream cheese.  They’re grilled golden on a cedar plank and can be fully prepped ahead, making them fantastic for entertaining.  But nobody needs to wait for that, right?

      What spurred me to these luscious little domes?  My new Napoleon grill of course.  My husband and I recently upgraded our backyard with a deck and outdoor gas fireplace. As luck would have it, some of the more expensive items came in under budget.  This left a little cash for the frills, like furniture and new grill. We decided upon a Napoleon LEX grill, which has been amazing so far.  I love it because it gets crazy hot, has a smoker accessory and searing burner.  Napoleon Grills also have a great user friendly website with numerous recipes, and that’s where I found this great recipe.  I couldn’t wait to try them, and you won’t want to wait either.

      I have to say, I didn’t really know how bad my old grill was until I fired up my new one.  We had the old one for at least 10 years, maybe longer.  A couple of parts had been replaced along the way and I figured it still had some life left.  I’m sure it did, but not a very good one comparatively to the new grill.  I guess we all adapt to what we know and sometimes don’t know any different, as was the case for me.  Today I give thanks to my wonderful husband for persuading me to purchase a new one.

      Recipe source for Cedar Plank Potatoes, adapted from Napoleon Grills Plank Smoked Mashed Potatoes

      Cedar Plank Potatoes
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 people 20 minutes
        Cook Time
        45 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 people 20 minutes
        Cook Time
        45 minutes
        Cedar Plank Potatoes
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 people 20 minutes
          Cook Time
          45 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 people 20 minutes
          Cook Time
          45 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Peel potatoes and cut into 2" chunks. Simmer potatoes in lightly salted water until very tender 15-20 minutes. Drain potatoes and return pot to low heat. Mash potatoes over low heat, allowing the potatoes to give off any excess moisture. Once potatoes are smooth, remove from heat and add butter, cream cheese, roasted garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to mash until combined and creamy. Stir in fresh herbs.
          2. Preheat grill to medium high or 450℉. Scoop potatoes onto pre-soaked cedar planks using a 1/4 cup scoop, leaving at least an inch between scoops (can fit 6-8 per plank). Place planks on grill and cook for 15-18 minutes until hot and golden. Remove planks from grill and use to serve potatoes or gently place potatoes onto serving dish and garnish with additional fresh herbs if desired.
          Recipe Notes

          Potatoes can be cooked, mashed, scooped and chilled up to two days in advance. Simply remove from refrigerator and place on pre-soaked planks when ready to grill. Makes 12 1/4 cup scoops.

          To roast garlic, preheat oven to 350℉.  Cut the top off the head of garlic and place on a double layer sheet of foil.  Drizzle with oil and fold foil over bulb, crimping all edges to seal packet.  Place on a baking tray and bake for about 45 minutes until golden and soft. Alternatively, you can make roasted garlic on the grill, here's how Grill Roasted Garlic

          Grilled Lamb Koftas

          Grilled Lamb Koftas

          For those who don’t know, another passion of mine is overland travel, camping and the combination of both in our Jeep. My husband and I are self contained and have everything we need in the confines of a Jeep Rubicon with a roof top tent. We have hot water, power, fridge/freezer and the necessities required to live well for days when in the middle of nowhere. It’s quite amazing how much you can pack into a jeep with a little planning and the right gear, not to mention a pretty smart husband. We have the ability to go places that RV’s just can’t, which allows us to head into the hills for solitude and relaxation. It’s a shame our Canadian summers are so very short and there aren’t enough vacation days to do all that we want most years. Most of the time during the summer months it’s weekend getaways to the Rocky Mountain foothills and in the fall a longer trip to Canyonlands Utah. Grilled Lamb Koftas is Compelled To Cook’s first outdoor post and the weekend’s meal on the grill. Showing you that camping, whether it be tenting, or RVing does not mean a sacrifice on great food.

          For a weekend getaway Grilled Lamb Koftas are perfect. Easy to mix together and take little time to grill to perfection. No need to worry about making side dishes and salads, just stuff the juicy lamb koftas into a pita and top with your favourite sprouts, lettuce, onions and plenty of Minted Yogurt Sauce. I’ve used a combination of ground beef and ground lamb and added greek yogurt and chickpeas to the meat to add moisture and texture. They’re nicely spiced but not overpowering, making them great for the whole family. Enjoy!

          Recipe source for Grilled Lamb Koftas: Compelled To Cook

          Grilled Lamb Koftas
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            6-8 servings 30 minutes
            Cook Time
            12 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            6-8 servings 30 minutes
            Cook Time
            12 minutes
            Grilled Lamb Koftas
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              6-8 servings 30 minutes
              Cook Time
              12 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              6-8 servings 30 minutes
              Cook Time
              12 minutes
              Ingredients
              Minted Yogurt Sauce
              Lamb Koftas
              Servings: servings
              Instructions
              Minted Yogurt Sauce
              1. Stir together all ingredients and chill until ready to use.
              Lamb Koftas
              1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and gently mix with your hands until well combined but not overworked. Cover and chill for up to one day in advance. Shape approximately 2 1/2 ounces of meat mixture into a 3" long log, making 13-15 in total. Thread onto skewers and chill until ready to grill.
              2. Preheat heat grill to medium and grill lamb skewers for approximately 12 minutes turning to brown all sides. Meat should no longer be pink and the internal temperature should reach a minimum 160℉. Split pitas and fill with 2 koftas. Top with Minted Yogurt Sauce and desired toppings such as lettuce, sprouts, and onions.
              Recipe Notes

              Recipe makes approximately 35 ounces of mixture and can be made into burger patties as well.   I used metal skewers, however if using wooden skewers be sure to soak in water according to directions prior to use.

              Rusty Chicken

              Rusty Chicken

              What’s your favourite recipe from another foodie? I have many that have become tried and true that I go to again and again. It’s rather difficult to pick one favourite because they’re all great in their own way. Since it’s summer and prime grilling season my pick is Rusty Chicken from Chef John of Food Wishes  It makes the cut not because it’s fancy schmacy, but because it’s simple, uses everyday ingredients and is crazy good.

              Why do I love it? Apart from the simplicity, it’s the seemingly odd combination of ingredients that not only marinate the chicken but reduces down into a gloriously sticky sauce that hugs the chicken and is amazing with rice. It starts as a pale brown liquid speckled with bits of mayo but when it heats and thickens, it gives way to a slightly tangy, sweet and spicy sauce that has a wonderful burnished colour, hence the “rusty”. The sugar in the marinade creates slightly charred and crispy edges on the chicken and if you’re inclined, you can heat the sauce right on the grill. Which of course means less dishes. When it’s just me and my man, I will serve the chicken right from the foil dish……I’m crazy like that.

              While I stayed true to Chef John’s ingredients, I have altered the amounts to have extra marinade for sauce and I’ve opted to grill the chicken. During summer months this dish is seen regularly in the Compelled To Cook home and often when camping as well. Thank you Chef John for a great recipe. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

              Recipe source for Rusty Chicken:  Adapted from Chef John of Food Wishes

               

              Rusty Chicken
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                4 people 15 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                15 minutes 1 hour
                Servings Prep Time
                4 people 15 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                15 minutes 1 hour
                Rusty Chicken
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  4 people 15 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  15 minutes 1 hour
                  Servings Prep Time
                  4 people 15 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  15 minutes 1 hour
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. Whisk together all ingredients except chicken. Place chicken in a glass or plastic dish and pour approximately one third of marinade over chicken and toss to coat. Add a little more marinade if needed to coat well. Cover chicken and remaining marinade and chill from 1-4 hours.
                  2. Preheat grill to medium. Grill chicken thighs for appoximately 7-8 minutes per side, adjusting heat if needed as the sugar in the marinade can burn. Meanwhile, place a disposable medium size foil pan on grill and add remaining marinade. Heat, stirring often until bubbling,thick and glossy.
                  3. When chicken is cooked add to marinade pan and toss to coat with sauce. Serve immediately.
                  Recipe Notes

                  Alternatively, you can use a regular saucepan on the stove to heat the marinade until thick and glossy.  Pour over chicken in serving dish and serve immediately.

                   

                  Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad

                  Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad

                  Picnic and BBQ season is almost upon us. Don’t bring just any ordinary potato salad to the party! Show up with creamy Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad instead. Cool, crisp fennel meets up with plump little shrimp in a creamy dressing that’s freshened up with fennel fronds. Familiar yet deliciously different is why Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad will become your new picnic favourite.

                  What’s potato salad to you? For me it’s a combination of summers at the lake and my mother. We only ate potato salad during the warmer summer months and my mother always made a deliciously creamy potato salad. It was on the traditional side, with eggs, celery, radish, mustard, mayo and maybe a little pickle juice. If I had it today, it would taste like a memory from my teenage years and fun at the lake. Who knew a bowl of potato salad could mean so much!

                  Skipping forward a couple decades, I still love a traditional potato salad, but here I wanted to keep the same creaminess but sub in cool and crisp fennel and meaty little shrimp for a lovely riff on a childhood favourite. Enjoy!

                  Recipe source for Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad:  Compelled To Cook

                   

                  Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    6-8 people 25 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    10-12 minutes 1 1/2 hours
                    Servings Prep Time
                    6-8 people 25 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    10-12 minutes 1 1/2 hours
                    Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      6-8 people 25 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      10-12 minutes 1 1/2 hours
                      Servings Prep Time
                      6-8 people 25 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      10-12 minutes 1 1/2 hours
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: people
                      Instructions
                      1. In a large pot, cover potatoes with 1" of salted water. Simmer until potatoes are just tender, approximately 10-12 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool to the touch. Drain well and chill potatoes until completely cold.
                      2. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, white wine vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
                      3. Trim bottom off of fennel bulb and pluck off fronds. Cut bulb in half, removing outer layer if needed to clean it up. Cut each half in half again and thinly slice each quarter including stems until you have approximately 1 1/2 cups. Save a few fronds for garnish and coarsely chop remainder.
                      4. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel and combine with potatoes, sliced fennel, fennel fronds and green onions. Add dressing and toss to combine. Chill for at least an hour and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve.
                      Recipe Notes

                      Makes a generous 4 cups of salad.