Homemade Spicy Lamb Pizza with Cooling Tzatziki Salad
3/4 pound ground lamb
1 small cucumber, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 tablespoons, divided)
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Last night’s episode of The Next Food Network Star was dutifully watched in Lolita’s living room, and (as usual) I compared myself and my skills to those chefs/cooks/(and bloggers!) and wondered whether I could compete in that sort of arena. I decided to take up one of their challenges - to make a pizza that best defined me: a toasted EVOO’d crust topped with spiced sauteed ground lamb, nutty goat cheese, briny feta, red onion, garlic and oregano, served with a quick tzatziki sauce and salad.
My lamb was locally harvested from a farm in New Hampshire, according to the butcher at Whole Foods. At $6.99/lb, it was an excellent price for an excellent product.
I didn’t see any of the chefs on the show making their own dough, and given my lack of a food processor with a dough hook (and my desire to make this quickly – being a weeknight wondermeal and all), I bought my dough from Whole Foods. It’s a pretty good product, even if it is sometimes over-proofed, resulting in air bubbles and blistering/blackening edges. Today’s dough, however, was great. I turn it out of the bag onto my floured counter, then split the lump in half to make my pizza base and some garlic rolls to go with it.
After making sure all my toppings are ready for action, I very quickly remove the pizza pan from the oven, slather some EVOO over the surface, then stretch my pizza crust dough over the surface as best as possible. I drizzle some EVOO over the dough, then spread out my sausage bits, red onion, minced garlic, and cheeses. I shake some black pepper and oregano over the whole thing, before putting the pan into the oven. My oven’s two racks are on the top two slots — as far from the bottom’s heating coils as possible — so I place the rolls on the top one (since they need more room to grown), and my pizza on the bottom. Cook for 15 minutes, or until…
My rolls have been tossed in butter and garlic, and are fluffy on the inside and perfectly crusty on the outside. Mouthfuls of complex spice and gamey sweet meat meeting cooling cream and crisp lettuce over an almost crackery crisp crust makes for a personal pizza experience unlike any other. Clayton and I ended up topping our slices with the greens and cream, so we could enjoy our salad and our pizza in each beautiful bite. It took barely an hour to pull this meal together (and that’s with me stopping to take pictures every few minutes), and the ingredients cost less than $20. One could argue that getting delivery would be cheaper and easier, but it would in no way be fresher, and it could never be this delicious. Delivery pizza has its place in dorm rooms and at Superbowl parties, but for a true diner’s dinner, I