Turkish Pizzas

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turkpizza4 It all started with my husband, Billy. He ran to Barnes and Noble to pick up a book, and grabbed this cookbook for me while waiting in line. How can I not love a man that willingly feeds my cookbook addiction? It's called Oriental Basics, and it's by Cornelia Schinharl and Sebastian Dickhaut. ('howt? 'hot? hmmm...) Anyway, it focuses on Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Yemen and Oman. That's a lot, right? But it's a pretty cool book with lots of information and delicious looking recipes. Lots of beautiful photos, too! These pizzas immediately jumped out at me--they're in the chapter on street food. Homemade, but easy dough--quick, too. And a great topping of meat and tomatoes with some great spices and flavors. I changed things around a bit. Instead of using shoulder of lamb or veal scallopini that I was supposed to buy whole, trim the fat, then chop finely, I bought a mix of ground pork, beef and veal. (I have been informed by the lovely Farida that people in Turkey don't eat pork. I mean no disrespect by using it here, just using what was available to me at the time.) That cut out about four hours of work right there! (ok, maybe not four hours, but still...) Also, I browned the meat first so I could taste the filling beforehand. So important, I think. Because who wants to pull hot little pizzas out of the oven only to find them boring and bland? They had an option on the side of the page to add feta and cumin for a different type of pizza, so I added those to the filling. Aha! Now we're talking! Dough: just under 1 tsp yeast 1/2 tsp sugar 3 cups flour 1 tsp salt 1 tbsp oil Topping: 2 small onions, finely diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tbsp olive oil 1 pound ground beef, pork, and veal mix (or your choice of meat) 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped 2 tsp tomato paste 2 tsp sweet paprika 1 tbsp sumac 1/2 tsp cumin salt and pepper 4-5 oz crumbled feta turkpizza Prepare dough: Mix the yeast, sugar and 1 cup warm water in a mixing bowl. Add flour, salt and oil, mix slightly, then knead the dough on a floured board until smooth (2-3 minutes). Shape into a ball, cover and let dough rise for about an hour. Prepare filling: Heat oven to 450°. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and saute the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Add a bit of oil to the skillet if needed, then cook the meat until no longer pink. Add to the bowl with the onions and garlic. To the bowl, add the tomatoes, parsley, tomato paste, spices and feta, and mix it all up. Taste and adjust seasonings. Divide dough into 8 portions and roll out to thin circles. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment, and place 4 dough circles on each one. Spread some of the topping on the first 4, then put the baking sheet in the oven. Have 1/2 cup of cold water ready, and toss it in the bottom of the oven quickly, then shut the door. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Repeat with last 4 pieces of dough. Remove from pan to a cooling rack. Roll pizzas up to eat. So would I make these again? Yes! The dough was easy and quick enough--a few minutes prep and one hour to rise. The topping was done in about fifteen minutes. Rolling the dough took just a few minutes and to bake--ten minutes. So it's not out of the question to have these on a weeknight, like we did. And they're not spicy, so they're kid-friendly, too! turkpizza5 Find more from Elle at Elle's New England Kitchen