Last Saturday I posted an “unconventional” pizza from The United States of Pizza by Craig Priebe and Diane Jacob. Craig toured the country to find outstanding, and often rather different pizzas.
Last week it was Green Chile and Pork. This week it is Trenton Tomato Pie with Baby Clams from Delorenzo’s Pizza in Hamilton, New Jersey.
If you follow this blog, you know I rarely post things with clams or scallops. The reason? I’m allergic. I can eat shrimp and crab from breakfast to midnight. But clams? Uh, not good.
Still it is selfish of me to make this a clam-free zone. So, for all of your clam and pizza lovers, have at it.
The recipe begins with a Corn Flour Pizza Dough. You can substitute your own pizza dough if you wish, or, go with the tide, and get your own copy of The United States of Pizza. There are many lovely pizza, and crust, ideas for you to explore.
Trenton Tomato Pie with Baby Clams
Yield: 1 12-inch pizza for 2-3 people
Corn Flour Pizza Dough (page 140 in the book)
1 ½ cups chunky Tomato Sauce (yes, the book has a recipe, page 27!)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ cup minced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 28-ounce can baby clams, drained, or 36 fresh baby clams, shucked
Nonstick cooking spray
16 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
2 ounces grated Parmigiano Reggiano (½ cup)
Make the pizza dough at least 12 hours ahead.
Rest the dough on the counter until it comes to room temperature, about I hour. Make the chunky tomato sauce at least 1 hour before.
Move an oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat the oven to 500°F for 30 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, and oregano for I minute, then add the baby clams and toss to combine. Remove from the heat.
Spray a 12 x 2-inch deep-dish pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray. Shape the dough for this deep-dish pizza pan.
Top with the mozzarella. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of the Parmigiano Reggiano. Pour the clams over the cheese. Pour the tomato sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano.
Bake the pizza for about 30 minutes, until the crust is deep brown and the toppings are bubbling. Check underneath with a metal spatula to ensure the bottom crust is deep brown too. Let the pizza rest for 5 minutes. Cut it into 8 wedges and serve.
Source: The United States of Pizza by Craig Priebe with Diane Jacob [Rizzoli, 2015]
Emeril Lagasse is a man we all know. He’s a very nice man in real life, very nice. When New Orleans was crushed by a hurricane, and his restaurants closed, Emeril rallied around his employees whom he treated as family. His generosity and kindness will never be forgotten. From the beginning, Emeril was known as a great chef and restauranteur. And author.
He seems to live by the dozen. He has an empire of a dozen restaurants. And he’s written a dozen cookbooks. I believe this one, Louisiana Real and Rustic, was his second. The first book, Emeril’s New Orleans Cooking, was the product of this new rising star of New Orleans cuisine. In Real and Rustic, he steps outside of the city, touring the byways of all of Louisiana to expose an exceptional cuisine.
Louisiana is not a well-known or well understood state. We hear “Louisiana” and immediately think of New Orleans or perhaps the bayous near the Gulf. But the state has different geological and agricultural regions. And its history is complex with its blend of French and Southern styles that happily merge in the recipes in this book.
Emeril notes that the food style is spicy, to be sure, but not so spicy that your tongue loses its sensitivity. With access to the seafood treasures of the Gulf, the lakes, the rivers and the bayous, Louisiana cuisine is happily seafood dense. Here you’ll find ideas like:
Crawfish Boulettes [balls of crawfish meat]
Eggplant Shrimp Beignets
The French influence, evident in that Trout Fricassee, continues with Beef Fricassee and even a Fricassee of Pork and Turnips. Game and meat do appear:
Ducks with Fig Glaze
Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Gravy
Quail Stuffed with Corn Bread and Andouille Dressing
Turkey Bone Gumbo [a Thanksgiving leftover feast]
This is a Southern book so desserts are happily offered:
Praline Ceram Pie
Peach Crumb Pie
Blueberry Peach Cobbler
Along the way, Emeril offers little recipe gems he has developed using very Louisiana ingredients:
Green Jalapeno Sauce
Green Onion Dressing with Parley and Garlic
Smothered Green Beans and Potatoes
Emeril’s Own Worcestershire Sauce [a gastronomic journey you’ll relish]
Published in 1996, Louisiana Real and Rustic remains a superior cookbook. There is a touch of elegance and complexity that smiles at you, one recipe at a time. The recipes have that particular appeal that says, “Make me now.” Suzi and I dip into Louisiana Real and Rustic year after year. Turn the pages and you will understand why. If you have never purchased an Emeril cookbook, I think this is the one to start with. I’m also sure it will not be your last.
If you are going to have chicken, go all in.
Eat Mexico was published last year by Lesley Tellez and is devoted to the street and markets foods she discovered walking, literally walking Mexico City. Eat Mexico is filled with delectable dishes, ones Lesley has written up for the American cook.
But the recipes themselves remain intensely Mexican. “Tastes like chicken” is not the worst phrase in the culinary world but it can be uninspiring. This recipe is inspired, really intensely inspired. It does take some ingredients and some time. This recipe is a two-day enterprise but that picture, from Penny De Los Santos, should at least make you pause before considering other chicken ideas.
The bird marinates overnight in an adobo sauce made from 14 ingredients: chiles galore, onion, peanuts, cinnamon, vinegar, vanilla. I can’t quite imagine how this bird is going to taste, but taste it will.
While roasting, vegetables are added for an automatic side dish. There are garlic and potatoes and onions, of course. But I’ve never tried roasting beets with a chicken before. It’s going to bring color to the table and I’m sure that beets nestled next to that adobo-covered bird will achive sensational flavor.
For our next long weekend, Suzen and I are buying a big chicken and cluster of chiles. You need to begin this recipe early Saturday morning for your Sunday table. What better way to organize you entire weekend then around a chicken. It gives “tastes like chicken” a whole new context.
Roasted Chicken in Adobo
Yield: serves 10
For the chicken and sauce:
1 whole chicken, giblets removed [about 4 pounds]
½ teaspoon of salt per pound of chicken
2 plum tomatoes
½ medium onion
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
¼ cup raw peanuts
1 3-inch stick of cinnamon
2 morita chiles
2 guajillo chiles
2 dried arbol chiles
2 dried chipotle chiles
¼ cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 small bunch thyme
For the vegetables:
12 cloves garlic, peeled
12 small red or white potatoes, cut in half
6 small beets, cut into quarters, or eighths if large
2 red onions, peeled and cut into eighths
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A day ahead, season the chicken generously with the salt and refrigerate in a covered container for about 4 hours.
Meanwhile, warm a comal or nonstick skillet to medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, onion, and garlic and cook until soft and blackened in spots, 4 to 8 minutes.
Place 3 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Heat a small skillet to low heat. Toast the peanuts and cinnamon, stirring constantly, until the peanuts turn a golden brown color, 2 to 3 minutes. (If black spots appear, lower the flame.) Transfer to a bowl. Raise the heat to medium and quickly toast the chiles in batches, 5 to 10 seconds per side or until aromatic, careful not to burn them.
Snip off the chiles’ stems, and shake out the seeds. Add the chiles to the boiling water and cook until the skins soften, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender jar, and discard the water. Add the charred tomatoes, onion, garlic, peanuts, cinnamon, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Blend on high into a very smooth, thick paste. Season with salt.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and drain off any excess liquid. Slather with the adobo sauce, spreading it over and underneath the skin. Place the chicken in a resealable plastic bag and pour any remaining adobo on top. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
The next day, bring the chicken to room temperature, uncovered, about 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Place the chicken breast-side up on a V-shaped rack set over a roasting pan. Cut the lemon in half and place it and the thyme in the chicken’s cavity. Set the chicken in the middle of your oven and cook for 20 minutes.
Toss the vegetables with oil and season with salt and pepper and add to the roasting pan. Lower the temperature to 425°F and cook until the chicken is crispy and the juices run clear, or the internal temperature measures 165°F, about 1 more hour, turning the vegetables occasionally so they don’t burn.
Let the chicken sit for 15 minutes before serving. Remove the lemon and thyme from the cavity, and slice. Serve with the vegetables.
Source: Eat Mexico by Lesley Tellez [Kyle, 2015]