Friday, March 14, 2014

Turkish lamb pizza

Turkish pizza, aka lahmacun, brings the delicious flavors of the middle east into your kitchen. Lamb is an absolute requirement here, it cannot be substituted for other ground meats. The herbs give the topping a delicious flavor, and the pizza gets better if the topping sits in the fridge prepared for a day or two. I tested a variety of doughs to put this on, and my pita bread recipe worked best. I didn't like it dry and paper-thin, nor was a thicker, bread-like texture fitting for my tastes. With a pita bread the crust was tender but chewy.

1 clove garlic
1 yellow onion
3 tbsp fresh basil
0.5 cup parsley leaves
2 tbsp mint leaves
0.5 tsp paprika
0.5 tsp cumin
0.5 tsp coriander seed
1 yellow bell pepper (1 cup diced)
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
10 cherry tomatoes
8 oz tomato paste
1 lb ground lamb

Add all components but the lamb and tomato past to a food processor. Process until it's a paste.

To a large skillet add the meat, herb paste and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently until cooked through. Season with salt and cayenne.

Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

Prepare pita bread using 2 tsp yeast, 1.25 cup water, 1 tsp salt and 3 cups of flour. Allow to rise and cut into four balls. Slowly roll out into four discs on parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 425F with a baking stone. Add 1/8 of the topping per bread. Bake for 2-4 minutes, until bread is light brown.

Serve with garlic, yogurt sauce (1 cup of yogurt, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 0.25 cup minced parsley) and shredded cabbage or lemony coleslaw.

Traditionally it is served with good yellow onions, chopped parsley and sumac. I'm a sucker for spicy foods, so I added Sriracha onto the prepared flatbreads. I think it was delicious!

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