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White Clam Naan Pizzas with Garlic, Mozzarella, and Parmesan

White Clam Naan Pizza with Garlic, Mozzarella, and Parmesan

 

Perhaps slightly unorthodox. Maybe even a little weird. But, absolutely, positively, delightful.

A concoction of garlicky olive oil and anchovies (yes, anchovies again. thinking i should change blog name to okie dokie anchovokie. hm, doesn’t have the same ring to it. will ponder…) is slicked onto the naan bread with a brush before layering the cheese and clams on top. A drizzle of clam juice, even more garlic-anchovy oil, and freshly grated Parmesan finish the top before it gets tossed into a hot oven until gooey and brown. A forceful squeeze of lemon juice and spattering of red pepper flakes is all that is required before delivering into your mouth.

Every bite is bursting with umami flavor thanks to the trifecta of Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and clams. I don’t think I took a single breath until after finishing an entire pizza. Priorities, man.

You can definitely make these on a normal pizza, using homemade or storebought dough, but I’d up the ingredients a touch just in case. Especially cheese and clams.

 

White Clam Naan Pizzas with Garlic, Mozzarella, and Parmesan

Yield: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 4 mini naan breads
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 anchovies, minced
  • Coarse sea salt, to taste
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
  • 1- 6.5 ounce can chopped clams, juice drained and reserved
  • Dried oregano, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Fresh parsley, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place naan bread onto a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, and anchovies. Brush half of the mixture onto the naan bread. Sprinkle with salt. Divide and scatter the mozzarella cheese and clams over the naan. Spoon two tablespoons of the reserved clam juice and the remaining garlic olive oil mixture over the pizzas. Sprinkle with oregano and freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste. Toss in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and brown and the naan has become crispy. As soon as it comes out of the oven, squeeze lemon juice over each pizza and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Notes

Adapted from Food Network Kitchen

// other aquatic things:

 

Olive oil and rosemary-poached shrimp with garlic, anchovies, and red pepper flakes

Olive oil and rosemary-braised shrimp with garlic, anchovies, and red pepper flakes

 

One of my favorite ways to enjoy shrimp is just like this– bathed in a golden, aromatic elixir of olive oil and butter and infused with rosemary, garlic and umami-rich anchovies. As this poaches gently in the oven, the woodsy smell of the rosemary marries with the pungency of the garlic and the brightness of the lemon, creating an intoxicating experience.

You can eat this straight away after it’s done cooking– a mere 20 minutes or so, but if you have the restraint to stash this in the fridge overnight, the flavors of the rosemary and garlic will intensify and the shrimp will be that much more delicious. I promise you, you’ll be licking the remains of the olive oil with your finger long after the shrimp have been devoured. Olive oil is good for you, right…?

This can be eaten as is, alone, but with a glass of white wine. Also, and I’d argue, even better: spooned over a luscious pool of creamy polenta.

 

 

Olive oil and rosemary-poached shrimp with garlic, anchovies, and red pepper flakes

 

Olive oil and rosemary-poached shrimp with garlic, anchovies, and red pepper flakes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 1 cup good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into little pieces
  • 4 fat garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 2 anchovy filets
  • Zest and juice of a lemon
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 rosemary sprigs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients into a shallow ovenproof dish making sure the shrimp are submerged in the olive oil. Combine everything well, cover with foil, and put in the oven to cook for about 20-25 minutes until the shrimp are pink.

 

// other shrimp things:

 

 

Polenta with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese + Artichokes Braised in Cream

Polenta with Mushrooms and Parmesan + Artichokes Braised in Cream

 

There is something about polenta that just begs to be topped with sumptuous, melt-in-your mouth delights. I infused the cooking water with dried mushrooms and bay leaf for the polenta while it bubbled away and thickened. Then, tendrils of fresh Parmesan cheese were twirled in. At this point, I would’ve been quite satisfied eating just a bowl of this but did I stop there? Oh no, no, no. A quick braise of artichokes in butter and cream finished this off, creating a melodious combination of rich meatiness and ethereal suppleness. This dish is best enjoyed with a full heart and an even fuller glass of white wine.

 

Polenta with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese + Artichokes Braised in Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

35 minutes

Category: Entree

Yield: 1 large serving or 2 small servings

Polenta with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese + Artichokes Braised in Cream

An easy and luxurious dinner to end the evening, this polenta with mushrooms and Parmesan served with artichokes braised in cream has a heavenly mouthfeel and deep, rich flavor. Wonderful with a glass of white wine.

Ingredients

    For the polenta:
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 small pieces dried mushroom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    For the artichokes:
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • S+P
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh parsley
  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions

    For the polenta:
  1. In a small saucepot set over medium heat, add the water, butter, mushrooms, bay leaf, and salt. Once it comes to a slight boil, slowly pour in the polenta and stir. When it returns to a bubble, lower the heat to simmer and cover; stir often. Let cook for about 20 minutes. When it's finished, discard the mushrooms and bay leaf. Mix in the Parmesan cheese.
    For the artichokes:
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Toss in the artichokes to cover with butter and season with salt and pepper. Let the artichokes brown slightly with the butter. Pour in the cream, lower the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. To serve, spoon polenta onto plate and spread out. Top with artichokes and cream; garnish with parsley and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

 

// Other lavish meals: 

 

 

 

Tortilla Bake with Chorizo, Corn, and White Bean Hummus

Tortilla Bake with Chorizo, Corn, and White Bean Hummus

 

I made this spur-of-the-moment, in a fierce mood to use up as many odds and ends I had laying about in the fridge one rainy afternoon. Lucky for me, I had a few links of chorizo to crumble up with leftover corn kernels and cannellini beans. While these three things mingled together in a pan, they created an alchemy so wonderful, I literally had to stop and stare; there’s something so incredibly sultry about the way food glistens when it’s tossed with chorizo fat.

A few minutes later, I was pouring this glorious mix into a glass pie dish and layering, layering, layering. With liberal spoonfuls of Garden Fresh Gourmet white bean hummus, Jack’s special salsa, and handfuls of crushed blue corn tortilla chips. There was cheese, lots of it. Into the oven it went and emerged ten minutes later, crispy and melty. Before I ate this, I drizzled it generously with Mexican crema and dotted with fresh cilantro. This tortilla bake was perfect as an afternoon snack (my definition of snack is a bit unconventional) with a dark beer.

 

Tortilla Bake with Chorizo, Corn, and White Bean Hummus

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

20 minutes

Yield: 3-4

Tortilla Bake with Chorizo, Corn, and White Bean Hummus

A quick recipe for tortilla bake with chorizo, corn, and white bean hummus. This meal comes together in 20 minutes making it perfect for busy nights.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound chorizo
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • S + P
  • 3-4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 5 tablespoons Garden Fresh Gourmet White Bean Hummus
  • Couple handfuls Garden Fresh Gourmet blue corn tortilla chips, crushed
  • 1/4 cup shredded quesadilla cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Garden Fresh Gourmet Jack's Special Salsa
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • Mexican crema
  • Fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Set a medium-sized saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and break into small pieces with wooden spoon. Allow to cook and render off the fat, a few minutes. Toss in the corn and cannellini beans; season with salt and pepper and stir. Cook for another minute until the whole mixture is coated and glistening with delicious chorizo fat. Pour this mixture into a round glass pie dish and spread evenly.
  3. Cover with pepper jack cheese slices and then dollop white bean hummus all around, using spoon to spread. Crush tortilla chips all over. Top with shredded quesadilla cheese. Dollop with salsa and sprinkle feta cheese all over. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. To serve, drizzle Mexican crema all over the top and garnish with fresh cilantro.

 

// More quick meals: 

 

 

 

Garden Fresh Gourmet Nachos with Smoked Gouda Bechamel + Avocado Verde Salsa

Garden Fresh Gourmet Nachos with Smoked Gouda Bechamel + Avocado Verde Salsa

 

May is National Salsa Month, so when I got hooked up with awesome stuff from Garden Fresh Gourmet, I knew I had to make nachos. And nachos I made. Lots. Over the course of several days lots. One day, I think I ate them for every meal…

I have somewhat of an obsessive personality.

But guys, this was beyond good. I basically hunkered over my plate (well, “personal-sized” cookie sheet, really. minor details.) and inhaled this in no time at all. The avocado verde salsa is super flavorful and has just the right amount of kick to it when dolloped all over the chips. And I always favor blue corn tortilla chips over regular– I think they have a more interesting flavor, not to mention that gorgeous pop of color.

 

 

Garden Fresh Gourmet Nachos with Smoked Gouda Bechamel + Avocado Verde Salsa

 

The idea for the smoked gouda bechamel was really more of a delightful convenience since I happened to have a leftover chunk of it in the fridge. And boy, it really came together wonderfully. The smokiness of the cheese really gave the nachos a nice depth, which was a great canvas for the zing of the avocado verde salsa to burst through.

Topped with fresh radish slices, queso fresco, avocado, and cilantro, these nachos were very much enjoyed with a cold beer. No regrets, man.

 

 

Garden Fresh Gourmet Nachos with Smoked Gouda Bechamel + Avocado Verde Salsa

 

Garden Fresh Gourmet Nachos with Smoked Gouda Bechamel + Avocado Verde Salsa

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

20 minutes

Yield: 1 large cookie sheet

Ingredients

    For the smoked gouda bechamel:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 ounces smoked gouda, grated
    For the nachos:
  • Garden Fresh Gourmet blue corn tortilla chips
  • Garden Fresh Gourmet avocado verde salsa
  • Sliced radishes
  • Crumbled queso fresco
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sliced avocado

Instructions

    For the smoked gouda bechamel:
  1. Place a small saucepot over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour, and whisk to make a light roux, 30-45 seconds. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking at the same time, and letting the milk thicken the roux a bit before adding more. Sprinkle in the salt and nutmeg. Let this come to a simmer and allow to thicken a couple minutes. Since this bechamel has skim milk, it will not be quite as thick as it would with whole milk but this works just fine since you want it to be on the thinner side to drizzle over the chips. Once it's thickened slightly, turn off the heat and add in the cheese; mix until totally melted.
    For the nachos:
  1. Arrange tortilla chips onto a baking sheet and crisp up in a 375 degree oven for a few minutes. Take out and pour smoked gouda bechamel all over the chips. Dollop with avocado verde salsa and scatter sliced radishes, queso fresco, and cilantro on top. Serve with a side of freshly sliced avocado. Don't forget the beer.

 

// more delicious appetizer things: