Do you ever watch a TV show or see a movie or read a book, and something they eat just sounds so delicious that you have to have it?
You may not be surprised to hear that this happens to me, like, a lot. For example, the word donut needs only to be whispered within miles of me, and a donut I must have.
So we all know Anthony Bourdain, right? The great culinary anti-hero. That dude’s shows make me want to EAT. I’m struck by a powerful wanderlust, and it often manifests itself in my kitchen. When I have no dime on which to travel, I travel on my stomach.
So, after watching the Istanbul episode of No Reservations and seeing the man himself eating a rolled up piece of lamb covered flatbread out of a wood fired oven – Turkish lahmacun – you know I had to have one.
I can make absolutely no claims as to the authenticity of this recipe. I have never been to Istanbul (BUT I SO WANT TO), and I have no Turkish heritage. I didn’t even follow a reputable recipe, but took ideas from a bunch of different ones.
The configuration I landed on is a kind of mashup between all three, which reflects my personal tastes, and what I had in the house! So it’s spicy, heavy on the sumac, and super easy to put together. The dough is thin and flavoursome, and the lamb topping is rich and cumin-scented. The yoghurt and sumac and parsley on top are all essentially refreshing and sharp. HEAVEN!
Now tell me, coz this is one of my favourite topics of discussion – what have you seen or watched or read that sent you running to the kitchen? I remember everything about the food in what I read – Kerouac’s apple pie, the Beer Milkshake in Cannery Row, Harry Potter’s favourite Treacle Tart, Pizza from the Ninja Turtles (nudge, nudge, Laura). What’s your literary food memory?
- 250g flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp yeast
- pinch of sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅔ cup (170ml) warm water
- 200g lamb mince
- ½ tomato
- ½ red onion
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- First, make the dough. Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is satiny and elastic.
- Cover the bowl with plastic and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to 1 hour until doubled in size.
- To prepare the topping, simply finely chop all the ingredients and mix them together to form a paste. You can do this by hand or in a processor.
- Once the dough is risen, knock all the air out of it, and then split it into four pieces.
- Preheat the oven to as hot as it will go (around 480F/250C).
- Roll each piece of dough out int a long oblong, and place on a piece of baking paper. Divide the topping equally between the bases, and spread it thinly covering the surface of each, leaving a ½ inch/1cm overhang. Fold over the edges and then bake the pizzas for about 7 minutes each or until lightly golden brown and cooked through.
- Serve dolloped with yoghurt, and generously sprinkled with salt, sumac and parsley leaves.