Saturday, January 16, 2010

Weekday Lamb Pizza

Lamb Pizza

Pizza is my fall back, don’t know what else to make, meal. I’ll put just about anything on a pizza. For this one I had some leftover ground lamb from the farmers market in the freezer and some ciabatta dough in the refrigerator (I try and either make extra when I’m baking bread or just start a batch through the first rise when I have some extra time so that there is always some dough on hand). Served with a side salad it is a complete meal.

¼ lb ground lamb, precooked in the frying pan with some spices (I’m going to say I used cumin, salt, pepper, and paprika- but that’s a guess, premixed curry powder would work well too) a half an onion, diced, and some minced garlic. When the lamb is cooked through drain off the excess fat and set aside.

About a cup of diced tomatoes. I used a batch of frozen tomatoes left over from summer. They were oven roasted before I froze them so the flavor was sweet and a little buttery.

Some cheese. Feta and Romano or Parmesan.

Fresh parsley, minced.

A glob of dough. I used something goopy thus the awkward shape but fabulous chewy crumb. Jason’s Ciabatta recipe from The Fresh Loaf works great for this if you are in a hurry (well a few hours versus a few days, with yeast you can’t hurry much more than that) but I’ve definitely become a convert to the long slow ferment. Once the dough has gone through its initial rise it will keep in the refrigerator for several days, just pull it out and allow it to come to room temperature before you form the pizza. It’s like buying premade pizza dough from your own refrigerator.

This dough is very wet, more like batter than regular slicer bread dough, so trying to shape it into a pretty round disc will just frustrate you and compromise the crumb. After the final rise I stretch it out onto a silpat or parchment paper and slide that directly onto my preheated pizza stone. I have the pizza stone on the bottom rack because it’s nice to have enough room to get in and out of the oven to add toppings without burning myself on the top heating element.

Drizzle the dough with a bit of olive oil and bake without toppings in a 475-550 (the silpat manufacturers say 480 is the max for those) degree oven for 3-5 minutes. Top with lamb mixture and cheese and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is crisp.

Remove from oven, add parsley and be sure if you used a silpat you take the pizza off the baking sheet before you slice the pizza.