The Happiest Plates On Earth: Mussel And Chorizo Pizza- Inspired By ‘Make Mine Music’

 

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As you may have read in this post, Make Mine Music is an odd collection of animated shorts you may have seen here or there over the years.  When we originally watched it, I recognized the more famous ones right away, including the one from which I took my inspiration for this dish.

 

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‘The Whale Who Wanted To Sing At The Met’ is a surprisingly dark short, with some  rather wacky window-dressing on it.  When I tasked myself with creating a dish based on this 15-minute cartoon, I had to ask myself ‘If you were a whale who was finally able to travel to New York to sing at The Met, what food would you want to try.

 

A pizza covered with mussels and clams, obviously.

 

I started with a New York Pizza crust recipe.  Homemade pizza crust and sauce is something we have in our fridge at all times now, something my husband has been enjoying regularly.  For this though, I wanted to try something different.  While I usually let my KitchenAid do the heavy lifting, I wanted to really knead the dough this time.  It was actually not nearly as messy or time-consuming as I thought it would be.

The sauce was a simple combination of onions, garlic, and tomato cooked down in white wine and olive oil for about half an hour.

When it came to picking other ingredients that would pair well with steamed mussels, I chose chorizo and braised fennel.  It was a combination I’d read about as being fairly classic Italian, but I’d never tasted .  It was awesome though, perfectly spicy and salty.  In other words, it was just what you want from a pizza.

But let’s stop with all this coloratura and get cookin’!

 

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Mussel And Chorizo Pizza
Prep Time: 1 Hour
Cook Time: 30 Minutes

 

 

To Make New York Pizza Crust:
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir them to combine to a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop and knead, adding small amounts of flour as needed, until the dough is soft, but holding its shape. This will take 8-10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Allow to raise until the dough is doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Wrap the bowl and place it in the fridge overnight.

 

 

Pull the dough out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before trying to work with it. When I stretched my dough, I chickened out and didn’t pull it thinly enough, resulting in a rather thick-crust for a NY style pizza. But this dough is pliant and definitely able to be rolled or tossed thinner. I brushed the dough with some olive oil and baked it at 475 degrees for about 8-10 minutes on its own to par-cook it. Now it’s ready for the additional ingredients!
To Make Pizza Sauce With Chorizo And Clams:

12 oz pork chorizo
1 can baby clams, juice reserved
1 yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup heirloom grape tomatoes
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup water

Brown the chorizo in a saute pan and drain the fat off of it before setting it aside. Pour the olive oil into a saute pan. Add the garlic and the onion and cook until they are soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, the water, and the white wine and cook it all down together until the tomatoes are broken and a sauce has formed. Fold in the drained clams and the chorizo and set the mixture aside until you are ready to make the pizza.

 

 

 

To Make Braised Fennel:

1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced (save the fronds for garnish)
2 tablespoons butter
Black pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the fennel and cook on a medium heat until the fennel starts to brown. Add the chicken broth and cover the pan and allow to cook on low for about ten minutes. The fennel will get sticky and break down as it cooks, similar to a caramelized onion. Season the fennel with salt and pepper and set aside until you are ready to make your pizza.

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To Make Seared Bay Scallops:

12 oz bay scallops, thawed
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons white wine

Lay the scallops out on a paper towel and then lay another paper towel over the top of them to extract as much moisture from the scallops as you can. This will give you a better sear with more color on it. Melt butter in a saute pan. Place the scallops on the butter, being careful not to crowd them. Cook until they are slightly firm and have a browned color to them. Turn off the heat on the pan and set aside to put on the hot pizza.

 

 

To Make Steamed Mussels:

 

12-15 live black mussels
2 cloves garlic, minced
Reserved clam juice
1 tablespoon seafood base
1 cup white wine
Twenty minutes before you decide to cook them, pull the mussels out of your net and place them in a bowl. Cover the mussels with cold water and allow them to sit for 20 minutes. This will allow them to breathe and expel sand they may have in them. After they have rested for 20 minutes, run them under cold water to continue to rinse them for an additional couple minutes. Biting into a sandy mussel is not awesome. Place all of the other ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Drop the mussels in and cook for several minutes, or until they are popped open. Drain the liquid off of them and set aside to place on top of the hot pizza.

 
To Build The Pizza:

Pizza Crust
Fresh Ball Mozzarella
Braised Fennel
Pizza Sauce With Chorizo and Clams
Seared Bay Scallops
Grape Heirloom Tomatoes
Fennel Fronds
Fresh Chopped Parsley
Fresh Lemon Wedges
Place the pizza sauce on the crust and spread it evenly. Top with some fresh ball mozzarella. Add in the braised fennel and heirloom tomatoes. Brush the edges of the crust with more olive oil and salt lightly if you’d like. Bake on a pizza stone at 475 degrees for 15 minutes or until the cheese is just starting to brown. Pull the pizza out and top with scallops and mussels. I left them in the shells because I thought it looked cooler, but it was a little annoying to eat it that way. Garnish it with a lot of fresh fennel fronds and parsley to add a freshness to it and then a squeeze of lemon on the slice before you eat it.

 

 

 

 

Overall, this was actually one of my favorite things I’ve made for this series. It was very satisfying and flavorful. It was a fairly simple affair as well. There was no multiple days of prep involved. I would recommend trying it out sometime if you’re a seafood lover or a pizza lover.  Or an opera lover. I hope you enjoy it!

 

It’s gotta be a better ending than Willie got at least.

 

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