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Piadine on a Budget

(post, David Silva)


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To start, I appologize for this being long. It is my first post. I'm sure I will learn to not blab so much as I continue with further tales of the kichen... I am just super excited!

Introduction:
We are (sadly) not in Bologna this rainy afternoon. The solution? Bring Italy to us! My friends all know I'd throw myself under the M60 bus to save my beloved Cuisinart Mini Chop (I do love her so), but I am on a budget, and I  simply cannot afford kitchen tools like pizza stones and griddles right now. The ones at Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma were WAY out of my weekly budget. So how can one make piadine withOUT a traditional terracotta griddle? The answer lies at HOME DEPOT... 

The idea:
We were trying to replicate an "testo", or an Italian, terracotta griddle. You can cook with tile in the oven (or a stovetop) as long as it's UN-glazed. We went to the pottery section, bought an unglazed, terra-cotta flower-pot base, brought it home, and threw it on the stove! It works. It ACTUALLY works! A mere $8 "pizza stone" vs. a $50 one from a gourmet store . Who knew a crisp $10 bill could provide such a carbohydrate paradise?! 

The GOOD stuff:
Charlie was missing his "nona", so we made "piadine", an italian version of a mexican flour tortilla. You can fold these toasted dreams and fill them with whatever you wish. Therefore ...
1. You make a dough of flour, baking soda, olive oil, and water. 
2. Roll it on a floured base, make it super flat, and throw it on the flour-pot base that's on the stove-top. (Make sure the gas is on high.)
3. When it's cooked, you'll get those pretty, toasted brown spots speckled over your dough. You can now flip it and toast the other side.
4. Fill it with your craving and MANGIA!

At the spot where I cater-waiter, the head chef's constant secret ingredient is carmelized onions. On that note, I recently read an entire article dedicated to pomegranate molasses. (I know, I'm a geek.) Today I found FIG molasses. OH. MY. GOSH. It wasn't too pricy, so I endulged. If you can get it, GET IT. You won't be sorry. 

I was craving salty-sweet combinations, so I opted to fill our piadine with the following (I'm practicing my Italian):

1. Cipolla (onions I carmelized in fig molasses with sea salt, garlic, 
a touch of cumin, and black pepper),
2. Arugula (arugula), and 
3. Cheese (formaggio, specifically Fontina)
 
CIAO Bologna!