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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Turkish Pizzas and a Music Tag

It all started with my husband, Billy. He ran to Barnes and Noble to pick up a book, and grabbed this cookbook for me while waiting in line. How can I not love a man that willingly feeds my cookbook addiction?

It's called Oriental Basics, and it's by Cornelia Schinharl and Sebastian Dickhaut. ('howt? 'hot? hmmm...) Anyway, it focuses on Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Yemen and Oman. That's a lot, right? But it's a pretty cool book with lots of information and delicious looking recipes. Lots of beautiful photos, too!

These pizzas immediately jumped out at me--they're in the chapter on street food. (Are they authentic? hehehe! I'm not sure, but if you're from Turkey and these are all wrong, let me know!) Homemade, but easy dough--quick, too. And a great topping of meat and tomatoes with some great spices and flavors. I changed things around a bit. Instead of using shoulder of lamb or veal scallopini that I was supposed to buy whole, trim the fat, then chop finely, I bought a mix of ground pork, beef and veal. (I have been informed by the lovely Farida that people in Turkey don't eat pork. I mean no disrespect by using it here, just using what was available to me at the time.) That cut out about four hours of work right there! (ok, maybe not four hours, but still...) Also, I browned the meat first so I could taste the filling first. So important, I think. Because who wants to pull hot little pizzas out of the oven only to find them boring and bland? They had an option on the side of the page to add feta and cumin for a different type of pizza, so I added those to the filling. Aha! Now we're talking!

So would I make these again? Yes! The dough was easy and quick enough--a few minutes prep and one hour to rise. The topping was done in about fifteen minutes. Rolling the dough took just a few minutes and to bake--ten minutes. So it's not out of the question to have these on a weeknight, like we did. And they're not spicy, so they're kid-friendly, too!

These were baked with my good friend Shaye in mind. She's having a blog event that is a potluck picnic for her birthday. Get over to Smarter Than Pancakes to check it out!

Turkish Pizzas


just under 1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil


2 small onions, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pound ground beef, pork, and veal mix (or your choice of meat)
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
2 tsp tomato paste
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp sumac
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
4-5 oz crumbled feta

Prepare dough:

Mix the yeast, sugar and 1 cup warm water in a mixing bowl. Add flour, salt and oil, mix slightly, then knead the dough on a floured board until smooth (2-3 minutes).
Shape into a ball, cover and let dough rise for about an hour.

Prepare filling:

Heat oven to 450°.

Heat a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and saute the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
Add a bit of oil to the skillet if needed, then cook the meat until no longer pink. Add to the bowl with the onions and garlic.
To the bowl, add the tomatoes, parsley, tomato paste, spices and feta, and mix it all up. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Divide dough into 8 portions and roll out to thin circles. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment, and place 4 dough circles on each one. Spread some of the topping on the first 4, then put the baking sheet in the oven. Have 1/2 cup of cold water ready, and toss it in the bottom of the oven quickly, then shut the door.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Repeat with last 4 pieces of dough.
Remove from pan to a cooling rack.
Roll pizzas up to eat.

Music Tag!

Sophie at Flour Arrangements has tagged me for a Music Meme! How fun is that? I love music and it's always on while I'm cooking. The idea of this tag is to list your 7 favorite songs and tag 7 more people. It wasn't hard to pick my songs, the ones I'm listing are right off the top of my head, and only a small handful of what I'm listening to at the moment. To give you an idea of what I listen to, I have Sirius Satellite Radio in my truck, and 99% of the time it's on Octane and and Alt Nation. And I love that I can rewind songs and torture my kids, hehe. Just like they do to me at home when they listen to their music. mwahahaha!!! Oh! And we can also listen to any NFL game whenever they're on. So if we're out on the road during game time, we don't miss a play. Is Sirius paying me to pimp them? No. I wish they were, though, hehe. I love them!

**Sorry if you found "extras" on my playlist on Saturday morning. My daughter was adding stuff she wanted to listen to, hehe.

So here is my playlist of 7 of my current favorites, from

I'm still totally addicted to the soundtrack from Across The Universe, so that's why "With a Little Help From My Friends" is in there. (There is only one song on the soundtrack that I don't like, and it's song #2, disc #2. I love Eddie Izzard, but they really could have left this song out and it would have been fine with me.) If you haven't seen the movie yet, you need to!

Instead of tagging seven different people, I'm leaving this tag open for anyone that would like to do it. It's a fun one! And if you use, it only takes a few minutes to make your playlist and get the code to post it on your blog.

Thanks Sophie! Not only was that a fun tag, but is a new site for me, and now I'm hooked--love it!

Also, for all you dog lovers, here are a few shots of my Corgis, taken yesterday on the deck--just because I think they're stinkin' adorable dogs.

Hamilton, or Hammy, most often--Ham.

Phoebe, most often--Pheebs

Print the recipe!

Turkish Pizzas

These are delicious and different from your everyday pizza. Easy ...

See Turkish Pizzas on Key Ingredient.

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Unknown said...

i love the pizza!...and look at hams and pheebs! how adorable! ^_^

Amy said...

Oh my gosh, what adorable little pups. And yes, you are a very lucky wife to have a cookbook buying husband but just think how lucky he is to have such a great cook as a wife! ;)

This pizza sounds great!

Michelle said...

Mmmmmm! Those pizza's look seriously yummy. And how did you get so lucky to find a guy that buys you cookbooks?!?!?!

Also, welcome to my Around the World tour! I generally post it on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Lately it seems those are the only recipes I get posted.... Am I really that busy? :-) Great to have you there!

Anonymous said...

Your doggies are so cute! We took our's to the beach today. Thanks for sharing, cool site. :)

Anonymous said...

OMG those pizzas sound like something we'd LOVE! How sweet is Billy, too? Your furry babes are SO cute, Elle! awwwww! I don't know if I should do the music tag or not...people would think I'm schizophrenic (Bloodhound Gang, Taylor Swift, Snow Patrol, Evanescence, Bette Midler, throw some Hill Duff in there....see what I mean? lmfao)

ps. See ya at Shaye's cookout! :)

Shelby said...

Ham & Pheebs are so cute! I love how they are looking up at the camera!

The pizzas look like something I will try! Saving that recipe card to my favorites!

Erin said...

There are those adorable corgis I covet so much! Thank you for the pictures. Some day I'll have one of my own :)

PS: I'm very selfish and think you should have a daily corgi image.

Adam said...

Cool little pizza's. I really think the filing would be delicious, and the spices add a little kick.

Nice playlist. I wish I had a mom that was cool enough to play that music. Your kids could grow up to be rockstars :)

And cute dogs. Those pictures belong on like dog food bags or something.

Anonymous said...

love the pizzas elle! i'm sooo in the mood for different things for dinner, i think i'm in a rut! thanks for posting this. the puppies are adorable!!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Haha, I too have a cookbook addiction :0)

Aww, your corgis are ADORABLE!!

April was in CA now MA said...

I think I'm 13...I giggled at Sebastian's last name.

I really need to face my fear of dough and just make some already. I've never baked bread from scratch or made pizza dough. Is there a 12 step program for people who are afraid of yeast? That aside the pizzas look so yummy! Sumac is another spice I need to add to my list I suppose.

The furbabies are adorable! We have a dachshund so I love stubby legs.

Ben said...

Turkish pizza sounds and looks really good. I don't know if they are authentic, but who cares? And I am loving your selection of music. I think I am going to keep the window open until it plays at least 4 times :-p

Par said...

Looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

Adorable pups but even better food! That looks amazing and simple to make. I love street food.

Pam said...

Wow... these look really delicious Elle. Nicely done.

Sharon said...

Ooh, I should have used that Playlist maker. Now I know! I think I'm going to make these pizzas this weekend. :)

By the way, your dogs are gorgeous.

Ashley said...

OMG, I have to pick up this book ASAP! Extra points to the hubby for picking it up for sure those Pizza's look AMAZING! Across the Universe has to be The most awesome 'musical' that I have ever, ever seen in my LIFE (and I hate musicals!) I love all the music, can't cook without it.. Classic Rock is what does it for me (NY's Own Q104.3 is what feeds my addiction) The dogs are Adorable! Love your Blog!

grace said...

where do i even begin?
1-awesome pizzas. that combination of spices sounds phenomenal.
2-amazing playlist. i share your love for a few of those. i'm posting my list tomorrow, so you may see one or two on there.
3-i adore corgis! i had no idea you had some! when i move to a place that allows pets, the very first thing i'm doing is getting a corgi, and i'm dead serious about that. oh, they're so adorable. i'm so glad you posted pictures--i'll be coming back to this page again and again. :)

and that's the end of this novella. :)

Donal said...

Yum- these look really great- I've tried them in Turkey before glad I now have a recipe!

giz said...

The pizzas look amazing. I might find it hard to eat as street food unless it was inside the pita pocket. Middle Eastern cooking is so good and love love love the spices.

The dogs are insanely cute. I showed this picture to my dogs and they said to ask for a play date.

kellypea said...

How cool is that you hubs knows you'll swoon for a new cookbook. Nice! And these pizzas are so cool. Yum on the flavors, and that dough wrapped around? Oh, the possibilities! Cute doggos, too! My mom would be goo-gooing all over the place if she saw those photos!

LyB said...

When I saw the first picture I thought these were pita bread sandwiches. And then I saw that it was homemade dough and now I am all over that! Those pizzas look delicious Elle, thanks so much for sharing!

Thistlemoon said...

Look at those adorable pups! I love the pizzas too! That cookbook sounds right up my alley! :)
Wasn't the music meme fun?

Alexa said...

A friend of mine makes those (her husband is from Lebanon) and they are incredibly good. Thanks to your post and pictures I now have a craving for them ;-)

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is indeed a Turkish Pizza and they call it Lahmajun in Turkey. Usually made with lamb. I love it! They are traditionally made in clay ovens. In Azerbaijan they are pretty popular too.

The only thing I'd like to mention is that people never eat pork in Turkey. I don't know how they would feel if they saw pork in the recipe under the Turkish Pizza title. Although I understand it is your adaptation:) And it looks delicious! You did a great job!

Elle said...

Rita--thank you!

Amy--yeah, I am pretty darn lucky. Thank you!

Michelle--I don't know how i got so lucky! Thanks for the welcome! You have a great blog!

Lori--thank you! I think my dogs would love the beach. hmmm... :)

CG--you should totally do the music tag, it's fun! (and I'm still listening to my short playlist, hehe)

HoenyB--thank you! Yes, they're hams and love being in pics.

Erin--I hope you get one soon. :)

Adam--thanks! I always tell my kids that exact thing! "You're lucky I love good music! You wouldn't believe what your grandparents made me listen to!" hehe.

Bunny--thank you!

Veggie girl--thanks!

Amy--I was just looking at Hammy's little legs two nights ago and telling him how cute they were. LOL! That dough is really nice to work with, by the way. I'm making more today for regular pizzas. (I totally giggled at his name, too. Also 13.)

Ben--thank you! I am still listening to it, too. hehe!

Ms 2 be--thanks so much!

Cathy--thank you! I love street food, too!

Pam--thanks very much!

Sharon--it's a great site1 And thank you!

Ashley--it's a great book, packed with recipes and info. Across the Universe...I could go on and on about it. It's just. So. Amazing. And Jim Sturgess? Not only is he very fun to look at, I love his voice! Thanks for stopping by, you have a great blog, too!

Grace--thanks so much! I love your list, too. If you think these pics are cute, look back in my Feb. archive--their puppy pictures are in there! I hope you're able to get one (or two--they're good in pairs) soon.

Donal--thanks so much for stopping by!

Gis--thank you! And omg, they'd love a playdate! They love to play.

Kelly--I am blessed for sure. It's not the first time he brought a cookbook home for me, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

LyB--thanks! There are some other flatbread recipes in the book I'm looking forward to trying, too.

Jenn--the book was on the bargain table, so you don't have to feel guilty about buying it. :) And yes, it was a really fun tag!

Alexa--thank you!

Farida--thanks for the heads up! I made a little not in the post about it.

Anonymous said...

This looks great! Could you explain a little more about the 1/2 c. cold water and tossing it into the oven step? do you put the cup into the oven? or pour the water over the bottom of the oven?

Elle said...

Jen, I just had my water ready to go, put the pan in, and tossed the water (not the cup) in the bottom. But I saw someone on Baking with Julia the other day--she just tossed in some ice cubes--that does the same thing, I'm sure.

Cris said...

How fun... I came to your blog a little earlier and was googling the word sumac and you commented on my blog! I was going to suggest the spice harissa, with these dishes there is nothing better... spicy and hot... Have a nice weekend Elle!

vanillasugarblog said...

Awww you have a good hubby-doo.
And those pizzas are a keeper. I will have to make that when the temp is a bit cooler. Homemade breads right now scare me in this heat and make me sweat too much. I hate sweating, am I alone in this?
Anyway, love your dogs too!

Brilynn said...

I love making my own pizzas and that sounds like a nice new set of toppings to try!

Deborah said...

I keep thinking that I would love to learn to cook "authentic" food from other countries. This would be a great book to learn a lot - and the pizzas look delicious!

Paula said...

What great doggies! So sweet! Love the Turkish Pizza's! I've not heard of sumac before (other than the plant that causes rashes!). Now I'm really curious what flavor it brings to this recipe!

Anonymous said...

I love the pizza and I love the music!! Did I mention I'm inspired?

Tiffany said...

Those look fab! Yum Yum Yum. Looks like we share some of the same music favorites :)

Your dogs are so cute!! My pup is part corgi, so I'm lovin your pics!

Elizabeth said...

We've just discovered the wonders of sumac. Isn't it amazing? Your Turkish pizza recipe looks fantastic.

The others have said you're lucky. I think you are very skillful at marrying a guy who buys you cookbooks (although... he may have an ulterior motive - after all, he gets to eat the wonderful things you prepare using the cookbooks.)


P.S. Found you via Susan's (Wild Yeast) "YeastSpotting" post for this week

test it comm said...

Those look good and the filling sounds really tasty!

Anonymous said...

This is perfect party food! I love it! That's what i want for dinner tonight but unfortunately i don't have the stuff around to cook. Mmmm. What should i do? Decision, decision!

Your doggies are beautiful!

Helene said...

Well, my husband Billy would definitely go for some ot these! They sound delicious and your dogs are adorable!

J'Ollie Primitives said...

OK, you are officially a "favorite" The pizza sounds EASY and something I'd have time to make ~ woohoo!
Love the corgi pics.

Annie said...

I think I just fell in love. First with those cute little pizzas and of course with your precious dogs!!!! They are absolutely beautiful.

taste memory said...

i just love those flavors combined. Wrapped lovingly and that lovely food porn shot ~ excellent!

looks decadent, s/b wearing my sari + lounged on velvet while eating this pizza!

hungryandfrozen said...

Hi Elle! Those pizzas (pizzi?) look seriously amazing - feta, cumin, sumac? I'm drooling. And love your gorgeous dogs :)

toontz said...

Those look absolutely delish! And your puppies are cute.

Veronica said...

Your husband is no dummy-look at the tasty result of his cookbook gift! The pizza looks incredible.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Wow! Those pizzas look mouth-wateringly good, Elle.

Anonymous said...

What a great husband you have to just up and buy you a cookbook! I'd love to learn more about the flavors and cooking from those parts of the world.

Anonymous said...

Elle it's 9:30 am here and I'm drooling over the Turkish pizza, I want to eat one right now :)

Your dogs are gorgeous too, totally adorable.

I'll have a think about the tag, see if I can get it to work over on Wordpress.

Deeba PAB said...

I LOVE the pizza...your DH has a great eye for great books! Well grabbed I must say & thanks for posting such a yummy pizza...BOOKMARKED instantly! And the corgis are ADOREABLE! Very very sweet!

Deeba PAB said...

Made them yesterday Elle...WINNER! Thanks for the post...very nice indeed! Cheers Deeba

Irina said...

I made these yesterday and they turned out great!!! Thanks for posting this recipe. Authentic? Not so much, but VERY tasty.

Anonymous said...

This is definitely not authentic, but looks very tasty anyways. Btw, I know the cookbook authors, they are German and have written rather germanized versions of the turkish food in that book. But that doesn't mean they are not tasty and your adaptation is even better, I think, lol. But if you ever make it to Turkey, you should try the real thing. It is not a street food, it is a lot thinner, and it gets folded into quarters, not a roll.

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