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Here is a flatbread of pronounced character suited to a variety of occasions. It is good hot—or not. And it transports easily, thus making it a bread of many uses: for picnics, as an appetizer, or as part of a light lunch. Or perhaps with a salad that is also composed of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern flavours.
You will also need:
1. A 14-inch round pizza pan.
2. Two large bowls: one for mixing the dough and another for the rise of the dough.
3. A heavy-bottomed pan with a lid for making the meat topping.
4. A small bowl for mixing the herb topping.
For mixing the flatbread dough:
1. In a large bowl, mix the yeast with the warm milk and sugar. Let it sit for a few minutes. When the mixture is foamy, add the flour, salt, beaten egg and olive oil.
2. Stir to combine everything well, and once it comes together into a ball, knead until the mixture forms a dough. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic and let it rise until it has about doubled in size. (The time of the rise depends on the weather and temperature. One hour is a good estimate.)
For making the meat topping:
1. Slit open the sausage casings lengthwise and remove the ground meat filling. Usually the filling comes away from the casing easily.
2. Heat the olive oil in the pan and sauté the onion over medium heat until it begins to turn golden. Add the garlic and sauté it for a minute, stirring. Add the ground Merguez sausage and brown it.
3. Add the cinnamon, cumin, cloves, black pepper, sumac and sugar and mix them well with the meat, onion and garlic. Add the chopped tomatoes and their juice. Cover the pan and simmer the topping gently until the juice of the tomatoes is evaporated and the mixture has thickened.
For mixing the herb topping:
1. Put all the herbs and spices in a bowl and mix them together. This is an herb mixture often used in Middle Eastern recipes. If you prefer not to make it yourself, it is available prepackaged and is called: Za’atar.
For assembling and baking the flatbread:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Oil the pizza pan.
2. Roll out the dough into a circle that’s a little larger than the size of the pan.
3. Spread the dough out on the oiled pan and sprinkle it with 1 tablespoon of the herb topping.
4. Spread the meat topping over the flatbread dough. Sprinkle the topping with the rest of the herb mixture.
5. Bake the flatbread for about 15 minutes, or until it is golden. Slide it off the pan onto a cooling rack.
A suggestion: The flatbread is good with a little of my Hot Cilantro ~ Parsley Chutney, which is also posted here at TastyKitchen. A little of this chutney goes a long way, even for those who like some flame in their food.
Acknowledgements: Mediterranean Merguez Flatbread is adapted from Elizabeth David’s recipe for Middle Eastern Lamb Pizza in her book: At Elizabeth David’s Table (2011). That recipe appeared in the ‘Cook the Book’ feature of the website Serious Eats.
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Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!