Make Yourself Comfortable

Embrace winter with 4 of our favorite recipes for warm, satisfying comfort food.

Lambs and Clams Pizza

4-5 pounds roasted lamb neck, or bone-in lamb shoulder (recipe below)
½ bag (about 25) little neck clams, washed and shucked
¼ cup Fontina cheese Pecorino Romano for garnish
½ teaspoon fresh oregano for garnish
About 3 cups fresh arugula, lightly tossed in olive oil
½ shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine
½ lemon, zested and juiced
½ recipe slow-rise pizza dough (recipe here)

Preheat oven to 550 degrees (the hotter the better!). Place pizza stone on middle rack, if using. Preheat oven and stone for at least 45 minutes before cooking.

Heat ½ cup olive oil in a frying pan, then add shallots and cook until they are translucent and just start to brown. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine, lemon zest and juice. Allow the wine to reduce by half, about 4 minutes. Pull off the heat and whisk in the other half of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature before using.

Lightly flour pizza peel. Gently dunk dough ball into a bowl of flour and then stretch to 10-12 inches. Ladle a small amount of sauce onto the pie (roughly 2 ounces) and spread with a brush. Evenly lay lamb around pizza and lightly spread with Fontina cheese. Top with 5-8 clams and quickly slide pizza onto the stone. Cook for about 5 minutes, until crust is crispy with some browning.

Remove pizza to a cooling rack and top with arugula, oregano, and shaved Pecorino Romano. Finish with a pinch of salt.

Makes 3 pizzas

Oyster Pot Pie

1 quart fresh oysters, shucked and undrained
4 slices thick bacon, diced
1 ½ cups potato, diced
1 stick butter
1 cup fresh button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup fresh carrot, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 rib celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup dry Sherry
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
½ package (8.5 ounces) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain oysters, reserving 1 ½ cups oyster liquor. Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Reserve three tablespoons bacon grease. Boil potatoes just until a fork enters easily. Set aside. Add bacon grease, butter, mushrooms, carrot, onion and celery to pot. Sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic and lemon juice and cook one minute. Add sherry and cook two minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring constantly with whisk, one minute. Stir in cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg, Old Bay and reserved oyster liquor and bring to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in oysters and bacon. Spoon mixture into six lightly greased 12-ounce French onion soup bowls. Cut pastry sheets into circles slightly larger than the bowl, and place on top of filling in each bowl. Whisk together egg and one tablespoon water and brush mixture over pastry.

Bake on lower oven rack 30-35 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

Turkey Stuffing

1 packet spicy French Andouille sausages (about 4 sausages)
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup polenta grits
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup chopped fresh oregano
1 cup whole pecan nuts
1/2 cup cooked wild rice
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
Rind of one grated lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Chop up the four sausages roughly. Mix together all of the above ingredients, except the chicken stock. At this point, if you are going to stuff your turkey with this mixture, add only one cup of chicken stock, mix well, and proceed with stuffing the turkey. If you are going to bake your stuffing separately, add the entire 2 cups stock, combine well and bake in a covered 8-inch square dish on a med/high oven for about 45 to 50 minutes.

Root Vegetable Tarte Tatin

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut
2 carrots, peeled and cut
2 parsnips, peeled and cut
2 turnips, peeled and cut
2 small onions, peeled and halved
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 branches fresh thyme
4 branches fresh oregano
¼ cup goat cheese
pastry dough (see recipe below)

Make the pastry dough. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel and cut all vegetables and toss them with oil, salt and pepper. Roast the root vegetables on parchment or foil for

approximately 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Make the caramel while the vegetables are cooking. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water, cooking until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and cook without stirring until the sugar caramelizes, approximately 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the vinegar, stirring to combine. Quickly pour the caramel into a tarte tatin pan. Arrange vegetables on top of the caramel and add the goat cheese and herbs. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to ½ -inch thickness and place on top of the vegetables. Bake the tarte tatin for 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.Carefully invert and serve.  

For the pastry dough:
3 cups flour
8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into chunks
a pinch of salt
½ cup ice water

Place the flour, butter and salt into a food processor and pulse several times. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in water until the dough forms into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until it’s ready to be used.

Serves 8-10

Hungry for more? Don’t miss our February 2018 issue, featuring comfort food recipes for baked candy roaster squash, arroz caldo, red velvet cheesecake and more.

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