Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lamb and Tomato Breads with Lamb Meatballs and Lentil Salad

The whole world loves a pizza. I kid you not.

As I was working on this recipe from Flatbreads and Flavors, this exotic bread from Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Turkey, I started to recognize it for what it was. A pizza. Gloriously exotic and spicy, but a pizza nonetheless. That is awesome. And it is. Forget mozzarella and bacon, try this spicy lamb flatbread this weekend for something completely different.

You can always go back to the cheesy one next weekend.

And while you are making your lamb flatbread, give the delicious lentil salad a try - you can make it ahead of time and serve it room temperature when your flatbreads come out of the oven.

And - if you have some ground lamb leftover like I did - make the meatballs!

A little touch of exotic, without you having to leave the comfort of your own home.

I am all for that!

This bread has been YeastSpotted!
Lamb and Tomato Breads
adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors, Alford and Duguid

Dough
1 cup warm water (110°F)
½ tsp honey or sugar
1 tsp dry instant yeast
1 cup AP flour
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1½ cups whole wheat flour

Mix all the dough ingredients in your stand mixer, on low, for 3-5 minutes. Adjust hydration as necessary. Form into a ball, place in a lightly oiled clean bowl for 2 hours, covered, until doubled in size.
Make topping, below.
Preheat oven to 450°F, rack on the bottom third shelf. 
Divide dough into 12 portions, roll out to 4 inch circles and place 6 on a parchment lined half sheet pan and 6 on the other.
Spread the filling equally over the 12 breads, leaving a half inch border around the dough.
Bake for 10 minutes, turn pans and bake another couple of minutes until they look nicely cooked through.
Remove and serve hot.

Filling - can be made ahead
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup chopped shallots
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ lb ground lamb
4 tomatoes, chopped
½ tsp EACH - gr cinnamon, gr allspice, kosher salt, black pepper, gr cumin
1 tsp curry powder

Heat oil up in a large fry pan. Sauté shallots for a few minutes, stirring, add in the garlic and the lamb and the spices. When cooked through, add in the tomatoes and cook low and slow, uncovered, until most of the juices have evaporated. Let cool.

Lentil and Sweet Pepper Salad
adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors, Alford and Duguid

1 cup green lentils, washed and soaked
3 cups water
3 cloves garlic, halved
1 large red pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp EACH - gr cumin, gr coriander, kosher salt, black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup cilantro, chopped

Place the drained lentils, the water, and the garlic in a smallish pot and bring to a boil. Let cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender - this will depend on your lentils, so try them every few minutes after the first 15 for texture. You don't want mush. Or rocks.
Drain and let cool, remove garlic.
Toss in large bowl with the red pepper and combine your dressing in a small bowl. Pour your dressing over the lentils and peppers, add cilantro, toss, and let stand. Serve room temperature. 

Lamb Meatballs

1 lb ground lamb
½ cup EACH - chopped parsley and chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp onion flakes
1 tsp EACH - ground cumin, hot paprika, black pepper, curry powder, chopped garlic
Kosher salt to taste
1 egg, and enough Panko bread crumbs to make it workable for meatballs - not too much

Combine in a bowl with your hands. Enjoy the squishing, but not too much.
Make meatballs, whatever size you wish.
Bake, fry or grill. Pop one open to see if they are done. Enjoy!

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