Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hi! I've been busy, and I know it's been awhile, so I've cooked you some things to make amends!

First, I made a pan Pizza. This is easily done if you have the right kind of pan. In this case, it's cast, I love my cast iron pans.
In case you were wondering, that's salami on it, my current favorite cold cut.

Then (and I am sorry, I don't have a finished product shot of this), but I made shrimp scampi, my wife insisted. First I like to get all my ingredients prepped and ready to go.

You'll see I have some grated Parmesan, lemon zest, onion, garlic, tomato, parsley, and though you can't see it here, some white wine and cold butter cubed up. And of course, shrimp peeled and de-veined (and PLEASE, PLEASE, it's a pet peeve of mine, but if your going to serve shrimp in a dish (as opposed to 'cocktail style', where I have no problem with this) TAKE OFF THE TAIL SHELL!!!! it's the polite thing to do).

I saute the shrimp first, partially, then remove it. Add the onion until wilted and translucent, then the garlic. De glaze the pan with the white wine and then let it reduce. Once it's near depleted, add the COLD cubed butter and work it into the mix (your making a butter sauce, or a buerre blanc (I don't know how to spell it, just how to make it), making sure not to let it boil (this will cause your sauce to 'break', i.e. water separates from the old chef would make you throw it out). Now toss in your cooked pasta and shrimp, add the tomato and parsley, and cook til' warm. Serve with some crusty bread to mop it up.

What's this? It's been two days since the scampi and you still have left over bread??? I am glad you came to me then! Did you know for under $4 dollars (at least here in Boston) you can get 2lbs of muscles? You didn't? Well you can! And let me tell you, once you find that out, you'll make them twice a month for sure. Again, prepare your mise en place (everything in it's place..i.e. prep). Here I have some slices of that day old bread, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, some onion, julienned, garlic, green beans, tomato and chopped parsley. Also some white wine (yes, a lot of the same ingredients as the scampi, I know, but it's how you save money, using the same ingredients, but making different meals), heavy cream, grainy Dijon mustard, and last, but certainly not least, some double smoked bacon...I love this stuff, it's slab bacon, that's been smoked twice so it has this amazing smoky flavor and a rich mahogany color... I would put it on ice cream (if I ate ice cream that is). I think it goes without saying that I have some muscles in my sink rinsed off and culled of the dead ones. A little trick I use to find the live ones is this (since it's not just that they have there shells shut, some live ones are open), give the open ones a flick with your finger, and then put aside as you rinse and inspect the rest, if when your done inspecting, the shell has not closed, then he is dead, if the shell is shut, then the sneaky bastard was just playing possum. We will have none of that. Render out your bacon first, then add your onions to soften and become translucent.

Add the garlic, and let it go for about 15 seconds, then deglaze with white wine. Throw in your muscles and then put a lid on your pan. When all the muscles have opened, pull them out of the pan (don't worry if bacon and or onions stick to the shell, no big deal, they will go back in soon enough), and reduce the wine and muscle juice. Add the cream and about 2 tbls of grainy mustard and let simmer for about 2 minutes, then re-introduce the muscles.

I forgot to mention that while all this was happening, you would be toasting the bread in your broiler until golden brown and delicious.

Place your bread, well, now it's a crostini, in the center of your plate, and scoop a big heap o' muscles on top, and don't be shy with the broth neither, as it's unbelievable when it's soaked into your

Grab a glass of that white wine you had there and enjoy! Can you believe it's only $4 dollars for 2lbs of these things??!!!?? I mean, that's just one serving right there!!!!


Anonymous said...

Hi i was wonder where I can get the recipe to your pan pizza :) ... it looks amazzzzzzing


Devilham said...

Thank you for the kind words Anonymous! Not to burst anyones bubble, but I used pizza dough that is made at the bakery at the end of my street, it' under two dollars and it cuts down on prep time. The sauce, should be nice and chunky (if you go home made, use whole canned plum tomatoes that you then crush by hand, this gets you the desired consistancy, otherwise make a standard tomatoe sauce). For cheese I like a 2 parts mozzarella to one parts cheddar blend (this is what the pizza place I used to make pies at did, and I always loved it).

You will want to bring the dough to room temperature, and even let it start to rise a bit. When it seems properly puffy, roughly form it out to the shape of your pan (notice I used cast iron, it's actually key to get the good color on the crust), lightly grease the cast iron pan, and then bump it (empty) into a 350 degree oven. Once the pan is nice and hot, press your dough into it (carefully!), forming a well in the center, and pressing the dough to the sides of the pan. Assemble your ingredients on top of the dough. Lastly, bake it in the oven (still at 350)until the dough is cooked through and the cheese is bubbly and brown. Let me know if this works out for you!

Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for the recipe!!.. I really enjoyed making it in the cast iron pan instead of on a pizza stone.... I had a little trouble with the dough .... but i usually do ....

Will definatly use this method again!....

Thanks one more time ;)!