Pesto, Aspargus and Chevre on Grilled Red Fife Flatbread

I really should be sleeping and I promised myself way back in January that I wouldn't do this... write while not having enough sleep.  But sometimes sleep is overrated and there is too much to do in a day.  So even though my eyes really want to close I'm finding myself compelled (it's the best word I can find right now) to continue typing away.
Sleep has been somewhat elusive lately.  It's not that I'm having trouble sleeping - I hit the pillow and I'm out.  It's that I haven't been getting to the pillow for long enough.  Keeping all the balls in the air while D has been gone has taken it's toll.  In a bizarre twist of fate the last month or so of my teaching at home has been picking up.  The timing has just been bad what with May already just being out of control.  So it seems fitting that I write this post at some ridiculous hour of the night and tell you that I made this stuff over two nights.

Had to be over two nights.  The first night I made the bread.  I burnt it.  I decided to make it after taking kid #1 to choir rehearsal.  I kind of wasn't thinking about having to pick her back up from choir rehearsal though and by the time I got home the bread had over risen just slightly.  It was also dark outside and I had to use a flashlight while grilling the bread.  I've discovered that flashlights aren't the best for catching grilled flatbread before it burns.  Live and learn.  I cooled the flat bread and stored it for the night.
The next night I was teaching at home and then taking kid #2 to soccer, teaching a little more and then picking up kid #2 from soccer.  In between there somewhere I finished the topping and somehow managed to grill it before soccer.  I didn't get to eat it until about 3 hours later though when I had a chance to breath.
Burned flatbread isn't the best.  In fact, it's quite close to bad.  However, I find when you throw pesto and goat cheese on pretty much anything it has this amazing effect.  It's restorative.  It's like coconut milk.  Whatever you've made could completely bite but adding this stuff brings it right back to fantastic.  Thank you - because this would have been a disaster otherwise.  The topping is the easy part.  You just need some time to do the grilling.

At the end of the day this stuff tasted really good.  I got kinda excited about it.  I'm pretty sure that I've seen someone out there in cyber space doing something like this but I couldn't find a site to credit at the time so I just went out there and winged it (? - sleep).  Aside from being a total goof about timing the bread was easy and it's worth it to make your own.  I added Red Fife flour to mine and it turned out great (minus the burning) and there is so much less salt and sugar when you make your own.  In times of great heat and more time this kind of meal is totally perfect.

Red Fife Flat Bread adapted from 'Completely Delicious'

2 1/2 tsp yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar less 2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp milk
1 lg egg, beaten
1 1/2 cup Red Fife flour
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup (ish) unsalted butter, melted

Combine the warm water and yeast together with half of the sugar.  Stir and set aside in a warm place to rise for about 10 minutes.  Once the yeast stuff is foamy add in the milk and egg.  Mix just until combined.
Add in both the flours.  Mix until it forms a dough ball.  Add another 1/4 - 1/2 cup of flour if the dough is too wet to knead.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface.  Knead until the dough is smooth and silky.  About 6 - 8 minutes.
Place the dough into a lightly buttered bowl.  Cover with a clean cloth and set in a warm, draft free place to rise for about 1 1/2 hrs or until doubled in size.
Punch down.  Divide the dough into however many balls you want to have as flatbread pieces.  Set onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another hour or until doubled in size.
Just before the dough is finished it's second rise, begin to preheat the grill.  I put mine at medium or so which got the grill to between 400 and 500 degrees F.
On a very lightly floured surface roll out each dough ball to about 1 1/2 - 2 inch thickness.  Brush one side of each disc with melted butter.  Grill the bread (buttered side down) for 4 minutes or so.  Brush the top side with butter and grill for about 4 minutes.  Bread should be just golden and have some grill marks.
Remove each disc from the heat and wrap in a cloth until time to use (if using the next day then place then entire mess - cloth and all - in an airtight container).

For the topping:

20 - 25 spears of asparagus, stems removed
1 cup (or so) goat chevre
1 - 1 1/2 cup mozzarella
1 - 1 1/2 cup pesto (I used homemade but store bought is fine)

Bring a large pot with about 2 cups water to a boil.  Add the asparagus and simmer for about 4 minutes.  Remove the asparagus and set aside.
Heat up the grill again, this time to med/high.
Spread some pesto over each flatbread disc.  You can eyeball it.  Assemble and arrange the asparagus over the pesto.  Dollop spoonfuls of the goat cheese here and there.  Sprinkle with the mozzarella.
Place on a cookie sheet.
Grill for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling but the edges aren't burnt.
Remove and cool slightly.  Cut (or not) and enjoy.  I sprinkled some fresh greens on mine and then went for it.  Yup - it works.

Updates and Spinach and Chickpea Curry Comfort Food

Kid #2 started soccer last week.  It's pretty funny watching 5 years old play soccer... unless you live in Brazil and then I would imagine it's probably inspiring.
I stretched my garden planting over 3 days to make it a little easier to deal with in my head.  It helped and now I've got pretty much everything planted.  I always wish I were doing more.  Always.  But the run down goes something like this:

cucumber (we'll see)
snow peas
green/purple beans
mammoth dill

In pots:
Black Prince tomatoes
Chadwick Cherry tomatoes
dill (more dill)
strawberries (it's an experiment)

In the ground:
beets (fingers crossed)

It sounds like a lot but it isn't.  Just one or two plants of each thing.  I've given up on carrots for the moment and we'll see about the future.  I'm willing to renegotiate but I've got some serious doubts.  I'm pretty confident about the beans and snow peas.  The cucumber... well we'll see.  The zucchini I'm really hoping for... I've wanted to grow them for a while and for some reason can't seem to get it to work from seed.  I'm sure I'm not doing something.  Along with my raspberry patch that is now threatening to take over the back half of my yard I think I'll content myself with this much.
Potatoes.  I almost forgot my potatoes.  I threw some earth into a tall box.  Made sure that the box drains well.  Put about 7 or 8 potatoes that were already growing eyes into the box and covered them with about another 10 inches of earth.  In theory it should be that easy.  In reality... fingers crossed.

D is away right now.  Somewhere in Europe.  I can't remember where he is today.  I know that he'll be back in France by Thursday because I have to put in my requests for 'bring back's'  by then.  In the meantime I've cooked myself some comfort food.  Nobody around here is a huge fan of chickpeas except me.  I love them.  LOVE.  Combine that with curry and coconut milk and I could pretty much eat this stuff everyday.  I actually ate it with my baked risotto from a couple of posts ago.  Curry and Risotto.  It totally worked.  I used some lovely spring spinach from the food box.  Two full bags.  It was about 6 cups but if you were buying in bunches or bags it would be two as well.  I didn't get this from anywhere it just kind of appeared in my life.  It morph's every time I make it but it never disappoints.

Easy Chickpea Spinach Curry 
serves 4

1 can chickpeas (don't drain)
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup onion
6 cups spinach (washed and the big stems removed)
2 1/2 heaping tbsp pataks curry paste
1 veggie boullion
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cardamom and turmeric
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp honey

Heat a large pot over medium heat.  Throw in a couple of tbsp's of oil.  Cook the onion for about 4 minutes until just lightly browned and beginning to become see through.  Turn the heat down to med/low.
Add the canned chickpeas with the liquid.    Add in the spinach, stir and cover for just a few minutes until the spinach begins to wilt.
In the meantime combine the bouillon cube, pataks curry paste, gram masala, cumin, cardamom, turmeric and salt together.  Mix well and add just a little bit of water to form a paste.  Add in the coconut milk and the honey.  Stir well.
Add the spice mixture to the spinach/chickpea mixture.  Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.  Turn off and ideally let it sit for a few hours.  If you can't wait then just check the tastes, adjust if necessary and then dig in.

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St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

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Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
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