I’m extremely lucky that my coworkers, AKA the people I’m with 40+ hours per week, also quite enjoy this topic. Just last week we had a great chat about our full proof, go-to comfort foods, and it ended up being a really insightful conversation. You can learn a lot about a person and a lot about food, just by listening to their own personal experiences. I would have never discovered some of my now favorite restaurants or recipes, had they not been recommended to me by someone.
As it turns out, hot cheese = my ultimate comfort food.
When I’m jonesing for some soul warming deliciousness, I can gladly devour anything from pizza, to grilled cheese, to quesadillas, to nachos, to cheese fries, to cheesesteaks, to mac and cheese, to baked brie and crackers, to cheeseburgers, to omelets, to chili, to lasagna…
(Not all at once, promise.)
What I discovered is, the vehicle (read: carb) which delivers the hot cheese is interchangeable. And the type of cheese itself is interchangeable. What it really all comes down to is, ya know, HOT CHEESE! (Also, promise to stop saying hot cheese soon.)
It is not entirely my fault, though. The flatbread, garlic, and mozz alone would have been enough. But guys. Butternut squash and goat cheese were meant to be together. Along with bacon, arugula and roasted onions. Oh and! Balsamic and rosemary. Yep, its just like this amazing mash up of incredible seasonal flavors, and the comfort of…hot cheese.
What is your favorite comfort food? I wanna know!
AUTUMN FLATBREAD WITH BALSAMIC DRIZZLE
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into half inch cubes
half large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil, plus a tablespoon or so more for brushing
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
5 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups baby arugula
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
rosemary, for sprinkling
For the roasting: Preheat the oven to 425. Line a shallow roasting pan with non stick foil.
Place diced butternut squash one of half of the pan and onions on the other half. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Using tongs, toss butternut squash and onions, keeping them separated, until they are evenly coated.
Roast for 10 minutes, then toss squash and onions again to ensure even roasting, and place back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Set aside to cool.
For the flatbread: Turn up the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with non stick foil.
In a large bowl bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour in the honey, water, and olive oil, then mix until thoroughly combined. You may have to use your hands to knead it a few times at the end!
Place the dough on your lined baking sheet, then roll it out into 1/4 inch thickness of whichever shape you like. (Mine was rectangle-ish.) Brush the top of the dough evenly with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven.
For the toppings: Sprinkle garlic powder over the top of the flatbread. Then scatter the mozzarella, crumbled bacon, arugula, roasted onions, roasted squash, and goat cheese. Place back in the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.
While the flatbread is baking, in a small sauce pan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil. When it reaches a boil, adjust the heat to low. Simmer for 10 more minutes, until the vinegar is reduced by half and is thick and syrupy. Pour into a ramekin or serving glass.