In the interest of not jinxing the home team, I have refrained from making any predictions, inferences or even commenting on the little football game that is taking place on Sunday.
I'm not super-superstitious, but when it comes to the Super Bowl and our boys the New England Patriots, one can never be too careful.
With just thirty six hours to go, and a recipe on my mind, it's time to break my silence and talk a little football. I can't be more excited about this showdown with the Giants, two of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game, Tom Brady and Eli Manning going head to head. Two great teams in a battle royale, and after the heartbreak of losing to the Giants four years ago, this is a re-match made in Super Bowl Heaven. What can be better?
I personally can't wait for the commercials which are always the most entertaining. Teasers have been leaked all week-don't miss Mathew Broderick's Ferris Bueller-inspired Honda Ad; and with the Material Girl voguing for the half-time show, we will all momentarily be transported back to the 80's. The excitement is in the air.
Even The Gronk is pushing through the pain. I hear he's getting a special cleat to support his sprained ankle for the big game, and when he takes to the field, all will be right with the world.
The Super Bowl Party is a long-standing annual tradition, and no one is more passionate about it than New Englanders. Finding the perfect dish to serve up during the game that is both finger-food friendly and packs flavor is all part of the fun. This year, in honor of the New England Patriots, why not serve up a dish with real New England flair: White Clam Pizza!
New England Clam Chowder is quintessential Northeastern fare, (as opposed to the Manhatten version which incorporates tomatoes in the broth; oh, the horror!), and pizza is always a hit.
I thought this recipe from Rachel Ray was almost perfect, but made better with a couple of additions: crispy bacon, (I love to add bacon to my clam chowder), and fresh mozzarella cheese, (it's pizza, after all!). Then just for fun I made a second version of this pizza with a sour cream sauce*. I served up both pizzas with a heaping portion of lemon-dressed baby arugula on top, and it was OUTSTANDING. I can't wait to share it with my friends during the game. Go Pats!
Rachel Ray's White Clam Pizza
- Position a rack in the bottom of the oven, place an inverted baking sheet on top and preheat to 500 degrees .
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic and 2 pinches salt. Lightly flour a baking sheet, place 1 piece of pizza dough on top and stretch to fit the dimensions of the baking sheet. Drizzle 2 1/2 tablespoons garlic oil on top. Sprinkle half of the clams on top and season with 2 teaspoons parmesan, 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme and salt and pepper.
- Set the baking sheet on the hot baking sheet in the oven. Bake until crisp and golden, about 20 minutes. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make another pizza.
Here is what I added:
*I baked 1/2 lb. of bacon in a 400' oven until crispy, then broke it up and sprinkled it on top of both pizzas.
*I used 1 can of baby clams, and 1 can of chopped clams in total for the pizzas, (1/2 can on each pizza)
Michelle's White Clam Pizza Upgrade!
Sour Cream Sauce
- 1 c. Light sour cream
- 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1 T. Fresh thyme
- pinch of salt and pepper
Prepare the pizza dough, as directed. Brush crust lightly with garlic and oil, then smooth sour cream mixture over the entire surface. Top with crispy bacon, clams, and mozzarella cheese. bake at 425' for 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
Lemon Dressed Arugula
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 T garlic powder
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- *olive oil, approx. 1/4 c.
Combine the lemon juice, garlic and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil whil whisking until it emulsifiers.