Monday, August 16, 2010

New Haven-Style Clam Pizza (Page 198)

RECIPE #1196

  • Date: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 -- 7pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our New House!
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: C+

I made the vast majority of the clam dishes from The Book when we were living in Berkeley this spring. This dish, however, required both clams and a pizza stone. The house we rented in Berkeley didn't come equipped with a pizza stone, so I could never make it there. I kept threatening to make it at Emilee and Brian's place in Palo Alto, with their pizza stone, but they protested so much that I never executed my threat. So, a few weeks ago when I had to go to Ann Arbor to see the doctor, I stopped by the fishmonger and picked up some clams on my way home. This dish was pretty simple, especially because my special gentleman shucked the clams for me! We started by making pizza dough. Then I shaped the dough, brushed it with a mixture of garlic and oil, arranged the clams over the oil, then sprinkled with oregano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and some of the liquor from the clams. I used a peel to put this on the stone in the oven, and baked. I was supposed to "Bake until crust is golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes." That would have happened had I not been preparing crabs at the same time and burned myself badly when the pizza had been in the oven about 8 minutes (see post below). So my pizza, like my arm, burned. To be fair, I took the pizza out after exactly 12 minutes. Under normal circumstances I would have checked it earlier, since I know it is much better to take things out of the oven when they are done rather than to blindly rely on some time in a cookbook. But I was distracted by the burn and didn't check the pizza before the 12 minute timer went off. Whoops. In addition to being burnt, this pizza just wasn't that good. It was pretty blah. And it had clams on it. More cheese would have given it some more flavor, but the cheese plus clams was already a little weird, so perhaps more cheese would have been even weirder. Maybe it is possible to create a delicious clam pizza, but this wasn't it.

Only 97 recipes to go!

The recipe is here.

We recently made a couple changes around our house that have been huge quality of life improvements. First, we bought a king size bed. Prior to the purchase we had been sleeping for years on a full size bed. The actual mattress we were sleeping on was apparently purchased at Sam's Club about a decade ago when my special gentleman was in college. But we were used to it and it was fine. One day, though, one of us had slept poorly and commented, "Maybe we should buy a bigger bed." The thought had never really occurred to either of us before, but once the seed was planted there was no turning back. We immediately became incredibly frustrated with our old tiny bed, and wanted a big bed ASAP. Had we been less frustrated we might have purchased a queen, but as our frustration with our bed grew, we decided we needed a king! Many hours of bed and mattress shopping later, we bought one. And I have to say, it is amazing. It's SO comfortable. And we have so much space in bed. Our new bed is heavenly.

As excited as I am about the bed, I am almost as excited about our other recent acquisition. We bought a treadmill! Training for the marathon I always ran outside. And I like running outside. But despite my best intentions I can never seem to motivate to do it every day. I am much more likely to exercise if I do it first thing in the morning. But I wake up cranky and half-awake, and the idea of immediately going outside to run is too daunting. On the other hand, walking down a couple flights of stairs to the basement and getting on the treadmill is no problem. I have been on my treadmill every morning since we got it, and it is a pattern that I hope will continue for a long, long time. I run, I eat breakfast, I take a shower, and I bike to work. It's such a great way to start the day. Plus, the kittens sit on the futon and watch me on the treadmill, which is pretty cute!

I only have one more thing on my To Buy list: a grill! I may hold off for a little while on that one, but I need it to finish my project!

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