Friday, February 20, 2009
Oh Friday! You're my favorite day of the week! On Fridays, my husband and I take a collective sigh of relief that our (work) week is over and marvel in the realization that somehow we have survived the craziness of it all. Our cocktail glasses clink together as we begin dinner preparations, which usually include rolling out some pizza dough, all the while dancing and singing along to our favorite tunes.
Tonight our pizza had a decidedly Middle Eastern flair, topped with spiced ground lamb with pistachios and Kaseri cheese. When it came out of the hot oven I spooned over a cool lemon and mint-spiked yogurt, which was a delightful contrast to the warmth of the cinnamon and cumin laced meat. It was reminiscent of the delicious stuffed Keema Naan that we get at the Indian restaurant, its smoky crust blackened in places and quite crisp from its time on the baking stone.
Another delicious Friday night pizza, another faraway place visited with our palate, helping us leave all our week's cares behind. On Fridays, there is always a party at our house, whether it's for two or twelve. Everyone's welcome to stop by-and they often do!
Lamb and Kaseri Pizza
1 recipe pizza dough (or store/restaurant bought pizza dough)
2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 t cumin
1 T chili powder
2 t cinnamon
1 t dried thyme
1 t salt
1 pound ground lamb
zest from one lemon
1/4 C pistashios, finely chopped
2 T chopped fresh mint
1 C diced tomatoes
4 oz. thinly sliced kaseri cheese
1/2 C plain yogurt
1 T minced fresh mint
zest from one lemon
juice from half a lemon
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 500 degrees, with a pizza stone on the lowest rack. Meanwhile, let store bought pizza dough rest for at least 30 minutes, prior to shaping.
Make lemon yogurt: mix together yogurt with next four ingredients. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add next five ingredients and cook 5 minutes more, or until fragrant. Add lamb, zest, pistashios and mint to pan, breaking meat up with a spatula. Cook until lamb is no longer pink, then drain off any fat. Stir in diced tomatoes and remove from heat. Taste for seasoning.
Roll out pizza dough (or stretch it ) onto floured baking sheet (or floured parchment paper) and spread with meat mixture. Top with slices of kaseri cheese. Bake on a pizza stone (on the baking sheet or parchment) for 15-20 minutes, until crust is crisp and dark golden brown. Remove from oven, spoon over yogurt mixture and top with more fresh mint.