Life is busy. Weekends fly by and weekdays are long and dreary. Well, at least for me. Especially going right into the start of Tax season. 60 hour work weeks and 6 hours of sleep with a diminishing social life is no fun at all. But my one saving grace is coming home and cooking. It helps me unwind, relax and get a little creative.
I know, how can cooking after those long work hours be relaxing? For me, cooking is my creative outlet, my way of having my time to take my experiences of traveling over the years and trying to make something new. And also, because as soon as I get home, and I ask my husband how he’s doing, his answer is always “starvingggg!!”
Well during the week, with limited time on my hands, I try to stick to cooking simple. Using simple ingredients but making something different with them. I don’t usually make things from scratch during the weekdays because then we would be eating dinner at 11 pm every night.
Trader Joes is one of my favorite places to grocery shop at. They have so many great ethnic prepared foods that make cooking so much easier. A new recent addition I came across was their pre marinated Chicken Shawarma Thighs.
Shawarma is middle eastern dish that is full of bursting middle eastern spices, thinly sliced and stacked in a cone like shape and cooked on a vertical rotisserie. Growing up in Kuwait, there where Shawarma shops in every corner of town. I was so excited to see that Trader Joes now carried this item because I would be able to make and eat one of my favorite Arabic dishes at the comfort of my own home.
My other favorite from Trader Joes is their Middle Eastern style Garlic Spread dip that goes very well with any middle eastern style sandwich. You can find this by the hummus and dips section of the store. I also love their Tunisian Harissa Sauce which I have used in many of my cooking creations.
Making fusion style recipes is something I truly enjoy doing. This allows me to take something from my culture and combine with western food. When I asked Ryan one night what he wanted for dinner, he said he was in the mood for Pizza. He is always in the mood for pizza. So, I have to get creative because I don’t like eating the same thing over and over again. This time, it was time for the Middle East to meet the West.
I use Trader Joes pizza dough because, why not? Just flour the surface, get your rolling pin out, and in 5 minutes, your dough is all set to be popped in the oven. I like to drizzle some olive oil on the dough, poke a new holes with a fork and pop it in the oven for at 425 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 5 minutes before I add any toppings. I find that by doing this, the dough gets nice and crispy even after I put the toppings on. I love thin crust, crispy pizza. You can skip this step if you prefer thicker and softer pizza crust.
For the pizza sauce base, I start off with some roasted red pepper hummus, Harissa sauce and garlic spread. I then top with olive oil again to make sure it doesn’t get too dry.
Next I add my toppings. Grilled chicken Shawarma thighs, halloumi cheese (you can get this at any middle eastern grocery store), white onions, hot piquante red peppers, tomatoes and finally some mozzarella cheese. You can also add sliced olives if you like them.
Bake for another 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly or dough easily lifts from the bottom of the pizza stone. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes before running the pizza slicer through it.
Finally, you can top with some thinly sliced fresh or pickled cucumbers, radishes, olives and fresh parsley. I also like to add some balsamic glaze or tatziki sauce on the top before I bite into it.
Do ya’ll blow your food when its too hot or do ya’ll just HASAFASHHAFSAS till you can chew it???
LMAO. Trust me guys, hot pizza burns on the inside of your mouth is no fun at all. Don’t be like my husband and please wait for your pizza to cool down a little bit before you bite into it.
I hope you try out this recipe! It is so easy to put together but so full of authentic and unique flavors.
Chicken Shawarma Pizza
Serves: 2 people
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 package pizza dough
- 1 package Trader Joes Chicken Shawarma thighs (cooked and chopped)
- 2 tablespoons roasted red pepper hummus
- 2 tablespoons garlic spread
- 1 tablespoon harissa sauce
- 1/2 white onions (sliced)
- 1/4 cucumber (sliced)
- 1 tomato (chopped)
- 2 radishes (sliced)
- Olives (optional)
- Hot piquante red peppers (optional)
- Ricotta cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Cook chicken shawarma over grill or indoor grill pan for 5 minutes on each side or until fully cooked. Let it rest and then chop into cubes.
Flour the surface you will be rolling your dough on. Roll out dough and place on to baking sheet or pizza stone. Poke with a fork to avoid air bubbles when baking and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes.
Then add the base; hummus, garlic spread and harissa sauce. Drizzle some more olive oil. If you want it spicier, add more harissa sauce.
Next, add the chopped chicken, sliced onions, hot red peppers, halloumi cheese and mozzarella cheese. Bake for 15 more minutes or until crispy and fully cooked.
Top with fresh or pickled cucumbers, radishes and fresh parsley. Drizzle with balsamic glaze or tatziki sauce.