Saturday, March 9, 2013
These days there is exactly one thing preventing me from becoming a total failure as a food blogger and home cook: Lent. If it weren't for this whole meatless Friday conundrum I would continue with my downward spiral of leftovers, takeout and waiting for Ryan to get home and cook for me. But if I want to actually observe the dietary part of Lent, I must take matters into my own hands. Being not a Christian, much less a Catholic, Ryan finds the whole practice ridiculous. So to avoid any arguments about whether or not I should be skipping meat (especially hard to win when there's no Pope about) I have to be on my game and have Friday night dinner planned and in progress before he has time to notice or comment on the lack of meat. This week I needed something fully pantry supplied because with disgusting snowy icy conditions outside there was no way I was venturing to the supermarket. So despite some initial misgivings about mixing seafood and cheese, I decided on clam pizza. Ryan was skeptical to say the least (although he hid it well, he's really a saint once I've decided about dinner, supportive, kind and willing to eat it) but it was delicious I think we both wished I had another waiting in the wings.
CLAM PIZZA (no, this will probably not compare to Frank Pepe's in New Haven and any stories I may have about aimlessly driving through New Haven in search of Frank Pepe's will have to wait for another blog post)
1/3 recipe of dough rolled out thin
2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
pinch + a sprinkle of red pepper flakes (you'll need to follow your own taste on this)
3 cloves minced garlic
1-2 cans chopped clams (We buy Snow's. Do you have a better brand?)
1 C grated mozzarella
1 C grated parmigiano reggiano
2-3 T clam juice (reserved from cans above)
sprinkle of oregano
Preheat your oven to 475 F. In a small pan, heat your oil, minced garlic and pinch of red pepper flakes on low. Let that gently cook while you roll out your dough. Sprinkle your baking sheet with a bit of cornmeal to prevent sticking and then lay out your dough. Use a fork to poke the dough to prevent bubbles. Brush the dough with the heated olive oil, saving the garlic and red pepper flakes for later (I just dipped the brush in the pan and then basted the crust, no need for formal separation or anything). Pop the dough in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove the crust and brush with the olive oil and garlic mixture, this time using the garlic and red pepper. Poke at it a bit to make sure the garlic is sort of evenly distributed. Mix together your two types of grated cheese and then lightly sprinkle the crust with it. I started with a half cup of each and it wasn't quite enough to cover so we grated a bit more. For how we'd rolled out the dough it was a light covering of cheese. If you like yours super cheesey you'll need more. Drain the clams reserving the juice. Sprinkle the crust with the clams. One can was delicious, but I wouldn't have minded some more. I think two cans (which was not an option for us because one was all we had might be too much, so eyeball it if you go beyond one can). Then drizzle over a few tablespoons of the juice (don't do too much, no one likes soggy crust). Sprinkle the whole thing with oregano (mine has a shaker opening and I just very lightly went over the whole pie). Then if you like some spice, do a very light sprinkle of red pepper flakes too (these are VERY strong in flavor and heat so be very cautious with them). Put the pizza back into the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove, cut, eat and wish you had more.