Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bacon & Blue Cheese Flatbread

Every now and then, I get some free time to really take in some of my favorite Chicago neighborhoods. Not too long ago, I spent the weekend reviewing quite a few restaurants while exploring some shops and markets in the area. On my little foodie excursion, I picked up a few things that were unique, random, and most of all, delicious. By the time I got home, I was able to see all the things I picked up and soon realized that although it seemed like a great idea at the time, I really didn't know what to do with everything. With a nearly empty fridge to work with on a busy week when I didn't have time to go grocery shopping, I was faced with trying to come up with dinner. And that's when my creative juices started to flow. These Bacon & Blue Cheese Flatbreads were born out of necessity using random gourmet items and limited fresh ingredients on hand. Gluten free pizza crusts are topped creamy blue brie cheese, crisp duck bacon, fresh baby spinach, chopped tomatoes and a drizzle of garlic olive oil for a gourmet spin on homemade pizza night...

So when I have one of those weeks where I really have no idea what to make for dinner, I usually run down this list of potential dishes using pasta, rice, or bread. I didn't feel like having pasta. I was tired of rice and there wasn't any bread left to work with. But deep in one of my fridge drawers there was a package of gluten free pizza crusts. Jackpot! The pizza crusts were actually much thinner than what many would consider pizza so it seemed more fitting to name this a flatbread. So with flatbread on the brain, the next thing to figure out was what to top it with.

I had previously picked up some duck bacon and fancy blue brie cheese at a great deli while hitting up some gourmet shops in the city. Bacon and blue cheese are a favorite combo of mine in burgers and salads, so why not on a pizza or flatbread too? Thankfully I had just a handful of baby spinach left and a single tomato, which I just added on top of the flatbread just before serving along with a drizzle of garlic olive oil. Before I knew it, we were sitting down to dinner and it was probably one of the best 'on-the-fly' dinners I've made! I guess it helped I had some fancy stuff lying around, but you really don't need all the gourmet upgrades. Regular bacon, crumbled blue cheese, spinach and tomato on a regular homemade or store bought pizza crust will work just fine with a drizzle of any extra virgin olive oil!

Bacon & Blue Cheese Flatbread
original Joelen recipe

1 package gluten free pizza crusts (or any homemade or store bought pizza dough/crust)
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup crumbled, cooked bacon
1/4 cup baby spinach
1 tomato, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil



Prepare your pizza dough as directed and bake with no toppings.

Remove from oven; top with blue cheese and bacon.

Return to 375 degree oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, until cheese begins to melt and soften, and bacon crisps up.

Remove from oven and garnish with spinach and tomato. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.