Monday, March 24, 2008

Non-traditional Greek Easter - Lamb Pizza!

Was my last post REALLY February 15?

Well, I was sick for two weeks with the "cold with low grade fever and total body ache" thing going around.

But, other than that, I've been busy with some other projects. Haven't been cooking. But, that's not to say I haven't been doing food-related things. There is always SOMETHING rolling around in phyllo folds of my mind. *wink*

(Imagine a picture of a gorgeous pizza here.)

So, my sis knows that I'm been making about 50 pizzas each Saturday at my part time job - scratch dough and all - and suggested we make homemade pizza this weekend. Cool. I'm up for trying it.'s Easter.
Hmm, how about lamb pizza?!
Not traditional, but, then again, have you met me?

Now, making dough for 50 is quite different than making it for 1, so this thing coulda bombed big time.

It worked.
It was nummy.

And, had I not rushed off in hurry - evacuating Chicago - before the impending snowstorm - fleeing to Michigan (ironic), I woulda had my camera.
And, toothpaste.

But, I remembered my chef's knife.
So, in case I did get lost in a snowstorm, I could slice my way through to safety.

BTW, in Michigan we still got the snow but I was in a warm kitchen kneading pizza dough watching the 10-12 inches fall, rather than driving in it.

So, I made a Honey Whole Wheat pizza dough on Friday night. (I was leaving on Sunday, so we had our "dinner" on Saturday.) Now, the dough was supposed to be "sleeping" overnight. But, those yeasties, well, they were having quite the party and popped the top right off the tupperware tub. I wrapped them in loose plastic and left them chilling until a few hours before dinner.

Then I divided it up, about 16 oz. for the large pizza screen I had, and about 8 oz. each for the two 8 inch screens, formed balls (touching the dough as little as possible so as not to toughen it) and let them proof a few hours, covered on the counter.

I took an online recipe for pizza sauce that looked pretty tasty and tweaked it a tad. I like what we did with it. (My sis sampled and made suggestions along the way. She has a good palate.)

Next, I had some bulk sausage from the local grocer, so I pinched off little chunks, called flecks, like we do at work and gently parcooked them. (The sausage had a nice swetness, but it really needed a LOT more fennel. Duly noted.)

I also had some ground lamb, so I gently mixed in lots of "Dana's Gryos Seasoning" and flecked and parcooked that, too.

While the sauce melded (sitting on the counter) and the meats each baked, I prepped my mise en place. (You know, pitted and chopped up the kalamata olives, etc.)

Now, Dana's Gryos Seasoning isn't a secret.
Not until I start bottling it and selling it.
Hmm, now there's an idea...

I haven't yet written down out my ratios.
But, it's freshly ground:

Oregano - lots
Fennel -some
Rosemary - some
Thyme - less
garlic powder
onion powder
salt and black pepper

I ended up making 3 pizzas.

First - a large "5 cheese" and sweet sausage pizza.
(Cheese were some romano, some parm, some asiago, more provolone and more mozz.)

Next - a small specialty creation "D's Greek Pizza" which isn't the least bit Greek. It had imported kalamata olives, imported feta, and ground lamb with gryos seasoning. Also, a bit of the 5 cheeses. (There was supposed to be red onion but I forgot it.)

Lastly, (because we decided the ham we planned to use was off) we made a veggie pizza. Julienned red, orange, and green bell peppers, red onion, green olive, bit of domestic feta, and 5 cheeses. (Kudos to my sis who 86'd the ham and jumped in on veggie slicing duty.)

I'll be making pizza again. *Grin*
It was a lot of work.
I'm sure the family was wondering...
"How many hours does it take to make pizza?"
Well, there is a lot of mise for 3 pizzas with 2 par cooked meats.

They said they appreciated the final project.
And, I seriously had a blast making 'em.

To think...I feared, yes, feared yeast breads a year ago.

Sauce Recipe - Enough for 2 pizzas
1-2 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

I used freshly grated Parmesan.
After combining, I tasted it and bumped up the sugar, basil, and oregano a tad.

And, I'll have to get permission to post the crust recipe.
It isn't mine ;)

But, you can grab your spare Cuisinart coffee grinder and knock your socks off trying to re-create the gyros seasoning. :)

You DO have a source for ground lamb, right?
You already have a butcher who can get things for you?

This doesn't have to be expensive.

Now, off you the butcher.
Or, to Google or
And, find yourself a friendly butcher!

Happy Easter, everyone.
Cristos Anesti! Pin It

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