Butternut Squash Flatbread with caramelized onions, cheddar & bacon

This is the first of eight installments of appetizers I made for my wife’s holiday work party. Enjoy.

A mostly savory appetizer with touch of sweet that will have your guests clamoring for more. You can (and should) do much of this ahead of time, making it something you can serve hot, fresh and quickly.

Ingredients

  • 1lb Package frozen pizza dough (I get mine at Wal Mart for $1)
  • 1 medium to large butternut (winter) squash
  • ½ lb bacon
  • 2-3 large yellow onions (not sweet)
  • ½ stick salted butter
  • Apple cider
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Thinly sliced scallions or chopped chives (optional)

The day (or two) before:

Dough Shells

  1. Remove pizza dough from the freezer and place on a greased baking tray. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray before you covering with plastic wrap.
  2. When the dough is thawed and somewhat risen, divide the ball into 4 even pieces.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 and place pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven
  4. On a floured countertop, press out and stretch each piece of dough into a rounded rectangle approximately 12 inches by 6 inches. Do not use a rolling pin, you will kill all those tasty little dough bubbles
  5. Using your hands or a pizza peel, place the stretched dough on the sheet/pizza stone
  6. It will cook quickly, 3-5 minutes – if it puffs up excessively stab the largest bubbles with a knife
  7. Remove when fully cooked and crisp (but nor charred) on the bottom
  8. Place on a cookie cooling rack (see pic below)
  9. Repeat with remaining 3 pieces of dough
  10. When cool, store overnight in airtight container or bags
Baked shells ready for toppings!

Squash Sauce

  1. Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and place on baking sheet flat side down
  2. Put ¼ inch of water in baking sheet
  3. Bake for 45 minutes at 350
  4. Once cooled, scoop out squash and mash in large bowl with salt, pepper and ¼ cup bacon fat (see below) until smooth into a paste.

Bacon

  1. While the squash is roasting, cut the raw bacon into 1-inch pieces and cook until very crisp
  2. Drain off bacon fat, reserving ¼ cup for squash
  3. Once cooled, chop bacon into fine crumbles

Onions

  1. Peel and slice onions very thin
  2. Saute onions in large skillet with ½ stick of butter
  3. Keep cooking until they are turning brown and nearly all liquid is evaporated
  4. Increase heat and add a splash of apple cider, cooking until all liquid is evaporated
  5. Let cool and move to an airtight container

On the day you are ready to serve:

  1. Place all your ingredients in a line: squash, onions, cheese, bacon, scallions/chives
  2. Preheat oven to 400 (convection if you have it) with pizza stone or baking sheet
  3. Spread squash on baked dough shell
  4. Spread onion mixture on top of squash
  5. Sprinkle cheese on top of onions
  6. Distribute bacon on top of cheese
  7. Place in oven until cheese is melted
  8. Remove to cutting board, sprinkle scallions/chives on top
  9. Using pizza cutter, slice into 7-9 strips
  10. Serve on cutting board

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