January 21, 2010

Ersatz Pizza, with lamb

I needed to use up the tortillas. They were lingering in the fridge a little longer than was ideal, and had gotten stale. If I was going to use them, it was going to have to be immediate, and something over high heat to crisp back some semblance of personality into them.

Fortunately for me, my corner grocery has a small, fresh meat section, and a butcher who comes in for a few hours in the morning to set up the various and sundry cuts necessary in the preparation of Vietnamese and Filipino dishes. This includes very thinly sliced raw lamb rounds which, it turns out, fry up blazingly fast. It's the same place that I get my thinly sliced beef for the Sesame Beef. They do a very nice thinly sliced meat.

In the interests of both creating a nicely sturdy surface to play on, and my desire to use up maximum tortillas, I chose to glue two tortillas together with freshly grated parmesan. After that, a thin smear of spinach pesto, followed by the seared lamb slices, some pine nuts that were also in need of being eaten, and some feta cheese. The lower right side also had a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, which I was initially unsure of, but it turned out delicious. The loaded tortillas were then shoved onto a baking sheet and slid under the broiler just long enough to crisp up the edges of the tortillas, and toast the pine nuts.

The final stage was performed post-broiler: a friend had given me a whole-spice blend called "Grains of Desire" which turned out to be a wonderfully fragrant mixture of black peppercorns, nutmeg (not whole, obviously), cloves, orange rind, rose petals, ginseng, and grains of paradise. The combined aroma reminded me a little of ras el hanout, a justly famous Moroccan spice blend, and indeed, shares an overlap of ingredients (although a good ras el hanout might have upwards of 40 spices within), most notably the rose petals and the grains of paradise.

I had been searching for the perfect dish to crack the seal on the spice mixture, and this was a good call. Lamb provided a beautiful backdrop for the flavours, and tied the whole impromptu dish together in a way that I could not have really predicted.

It's not really pizza, but I really don't know what else to call it. I know I'd love to have it again.


wine blog said...

Pizza with lamb hmmmm. I bet it could work! Maybe some hearty Syrah would be the proper wine pairing. Cheers~

Dawna said...

Lamb and syrah play very nicely together!

Kitchen Harlot said...

This looks sooo good. Now I have a lamb craving.

Dominique said...

Ouff! This looks so so good. I am drooling on my dress. :)