Hold the Cheese Please

On Sunday afternoon last week, Mike and Miss A went on a little father-daughter excursion. Miss A wore her favorite “fancy” dress and Mike put on a button down shirt, and the two headed out to see a dance recital version of the Wizard of Oz. Miss A was absolutely in her glory. (I think Mike was too. πŸ˜‰ )

So while Mike and Miss A were off for an afternoon on the town, Mr. N and I took on our next Armenian recipe, an Armenian Lahmajoun. The lahmajoun is similar to a pizza, but without the cheese. We started the recipe with an onion, butter and garlic.

We wanted a really fine dice to the onion, so we broke out the food processor and chopped it down as finely as we could. We then sautΓ©ed the onion and garlic in the butter.

After about five minutes, we set the onions and garlic to the side to cool.

Next we turned to our ground beef (you can also used ground lamb), green pepper, parsley, fresh mint and a tomato.

First we chopped the green pepper, mint and parsley in the processor. We then tossed in the ground beef and tomato as well as a bit of unsalted tomato sauce. Now some of the recipes we came across for lahmajoun suggested simply pulsing the processor to leave the topping a bit more chunky. Other recipes, however, suggested processing the ingredients to an almost hummus-like consistency. I opted for the hummus-like route since I thought it was more likely the kids would eat it if they couldn’t see the actual peppers, tomato and onion.

Next we gathered our spices and seasonings which included salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, paprika, sugar and lemon juice.

We then mixed them with the ground beef and veggies from the processor as well as the onions and garlic that had been set aside.

With the topping ready, we rolled out our pizza dough into about a dozen very thin, eight-inch rounds. We used a semolina pizza dough we had thawed from the freezer, but any pizza dough recipe would work. If you need a time saver, you could always use flour tortillas to save some time as well.

Once the dough was rolled out, we drizzled it with a bit of olive oil and topped it with about two to three tablespoons of the topping which we spread in a thin layer.

We then baked the lahmajoun in batches at 450F for 15 minutes at which point the beef was cooked and the dough was nice and crispy around the edges.

To serve the Armenian lahmajoun we drizzled a touch of olive oil over the top and rolled them up.

Mike and Miss A got back just in time for dinner with many tales of witches, ruby red shoes and a dog with a wagging tail. Miss A was so busy telling us all about her “date with daddy” that she didn’t even question was she was about to dig into. After her first bite she said, “Huh. I like it. Six spoons.” Mike also enjoyed his and gave them a strong 3-1/2 spoons.

Mr. N and I also enjoyed the cheese-less pizza, but not quite as much as Mike and Miss A. He and I gave the dish 2-1/2 spoons. It was good and definitely had some interesting flavors, but not something we’d choose to eat again. Mike on the other hand, has enjoyed the leftovers throughout the week.

We also ended up with some leftover topping, so we mixed in some breadcrumbs and made garden-beef burgers. Mike gave those a solid 4 spoons. He ate them inside a pita with a dash of Cholula and couldn’t stop raving. Looks like we all ended up with some delicious stuffed pitas this week.

Print this recipe:Β Armenian Lahmajoun

42 thoughts on “Hold the Cheese Please

  1. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    This is very similar to a lebanese dish called lahum b ajeen..the name is even similar.. the Lebanese recipe uses chunkier meat and no pepper and the topping is cooked before baking.
    I love dad/ daughter time..I have fond memories of my time with my dad πŸ™‚

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    • Kristy says:

      You know not cooking the topping before hand freaked me out a bit. I was so nervous about the meat cooking all the way through. And I couldn’t agree more about dad/daughter time! πŸ™‚

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  2. Charles says:

    Hi Kristy, this looks fab – such a fun idea. I think personally I’d have opted for a slightly chunkier route, but I realise you have to adapt according to the eaters and it’s not much good making it chunky if it won’t get eaten. Did you eat them with anything? I think I’d feel like I wanted something with a bit of crunch in there – maybe some salad or something, but aside from that, the flavours if the actual “pizzas” themselves look wonderful – I think I’d definitely love them!

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    • Kristy says:

      I would have opted for the chunky route too. There’s just no way the kids will willingly eat green peppers, onions or tomatoes if they can see them in whole form. Although one time at my mom’s, it was near the holiday season, she made a dish with red and green peppers diced up. She got both kids to eat it by telling them it was special Christmas reindeer food. They both ate it and liked it! Things only a grandma can pull off…. LOL!

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  3. smartfoodandfit says:

    So adorable that Ms. A and Mike had a daddy daughter night. You should have Ms. A do her fav. yoga pose for the yoga mat giveaway! She’s so full of spunk!

    I showed my husband your post and he was impressed. I’ll have to get his grandma’s recipe. It’s a different pizza but not your typical American pizza my kids are use to. Looks great and have a great weekend!

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    • Kristy says:

      I should have her do the yoga pose! I tried yesterday but she didn’t want to. I have to catch her in the right mood. LOL. I’m glad your husband was impressed! I’d love to see his Grandma’s recipe! That would be cool. πŸ™‚

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  4. Geni - Sweet and Crumby says:

    Kristy, I always come here for the food, the cute kiddos and above all the honesty. I appreciate that you always tell it like it is. These do look great and perhaps my family would give them 3 1/2 spoons as well. What a great day for Miss A. And Mike! πŸ™‚

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  5. Purely.. Kay says:

    These almost remind me of beef patties a bit, but done in a different way. I am not very found of beef patties because of the pastry they use. Maybe if you swapped the dough for something else, it would be tastier for you and Mr. N. But Miss A’s “date with daddy” sounds so sweet.. and I bet her fancy dress was the best anyone has ever seen :).

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  6. Caroline says:

    Father/daughter days are my favorite–especially as an only daughter. πŸ˜‰ I’m sure they had a blast, and that’s nice you got some quality time with Mr. N. You guys cooked up quite the meal–looks so good, and unique!!!

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    • Kristy says:

      The flavors were definitely new to us…and it was fun to do with Mr. N. Miss A of course had a blast with her daddy. First of many daddy/daughter events I’m sure. πŸ™‚

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  7. Courtney says:

    Hmmm, it’s funny that the two of you who did all the work didn’t like it as much as the two who just got to taste the results… πŸ™‚ I think it sounds really good. You really do open my eyes to so many new dishes. I love it!

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    • Kristy says:

      That is kind of funny. I can’t say that it was bad. I liked it okay, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I don’t eat much red meat and when I do, I’m rather picky about it. πŸ˜‰

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  8. joshdaddy says:

    Those look really good–and remind me of a Lebanese dish called manaeesh. OFten the bread is topped with thyme, sesame seeds, and olive oil, but there’s also yummy varieties that use spiced meats.

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  9. Three Well Beings says:

    What a great date! I love that…and this recipe is a winner, too. There are so many Middle Eastern restaurants in our area and I love each and every dish, but I’ve thought about cultivating more recipes so that I can have a little more control on nutritional value. Some of the recipes are little heavy calorically. This looks like a very satisfying meal…and I agree with others that it seems to beg for cheese, but I’d like to see how the flavors come together and perhaps change that perception! Debra

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  10. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Armenian Lahmajoun – who knew…you guys rock. I love your sense of adventure and willingness to open yourselves, and all of us, up to so many new creations. After all, there’s a whole culinary world out there that most of us will never know; so thank you for this unique dish! How fun reading about Mike and Miss A’s date in her best dress… doesn’t get more precious than that. I love that Miss A’s good mood propelled her to 6 spoons :). Way to be Miss A!

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    • Kristy says:

      Sometimes I get overwhelmed just thinking about the amount of different foods out there. I’d love to try as many as I can. πŸ™‚ LOL – I’m sure you can just picture Miss A in her dress that afternoon. She was positively dazzling! (And of course knew it!) πŸ˜‰

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  11. ChgoJohn says:

    How wonderful that Miss A’s first date was with Dad! A cousin did the same with each of his daughters. I guess great Dads all think alike. πŸ™‚

    This dish is an interesting one but, like Mike, I think I’d be looking for the cheese. Some habits are just too hard to break, I guess.

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