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Thursday, March 10, 2011

*lake effect.

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As a personality, I tend to get attached very quickly, fervently, and loyally to things—people, places, pets, situational comedies about three post-menopausal women living together in Miami with a wise-cracking octogenarian—and when I first tasted this pizza, I knew I was a goner.

The recipe is the brainchild of one Foodimentary Guy, née JBSH, who has a habit of throwing ingredients against a wall and seeing what sticks that I often admire. (Less so when he does whackadoodle things like putting mayonnaise in the mashed potatoes. Gack! Sorry, Foodimentary Guy ... )

Picture it: a late-summer afternoon. A day spent treading water in a fruitless effort to mitigate the 12,000 calories of Lake-A-Ritas (TM) consumed since lunch. Happily tired muscles and lightly pink skin. Time screams by, as it does on Sundays, racing toward return to the mainland, and the work week, and the grind. The dogs can barely muster the energy to wag their tails or lift their heads as you pass by, and the shadow cast by the boat's awning says it's almost time to hit the road. Half-hearted packing, some hurried but ultimately disappointing calculations (is there any way to stay another day?), and it's time to face the truth: The weekend at the lake is over.

That's when this came out of the kitchen. We huddled around it like delighted starving people—eating fast at first, because we didn't realize how hungry we were, and then faster still long after we'd become full, because we didn't want to lose a single bite to any of the other grabby hands in the room.

Since then I've wanted to attempt to re-create it, knowing that it really lives only in the Foodimentary Guy's brain and even then maybe only vaguely—it's the sort of meal that just happened organically, putting a little of this delicious with a little of that amazing until you end up with a pizza that haunts your dreams.

OK, enough hyperbole.

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The "recipe," such as it is, relies pretty heavily on a local chain—Zoë's Kitchen—and its signature feta cole slaw. Unfortunately, my neighborhood Zoë's was fresh out of slaw, so I relied pretty heavily on some Internet research and some hope for the best, and tried to whip up my own. It was a passable substitute, but improved overnight, as the cabbage had time to soften a bit more under the weight of the vinaigrette.

Did the original Lake Martin version have bacon on it? I don't remember, but I assumed that with JBSH as its creator, that was a pretty safe bet. I ate the finished product by my lonesome, but shared the leftovers. I don't know how faithful anyone thought it was to that warm, peaceful, lakeside day, but I hope it was a reasonable enough facsimile.

I know it made me want a Lake-A-Rita (TM).

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Chicken-Bacon-Cole Slaw Pizza
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ to ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced
8 ounces crumbled feta
8 green onions, chopped
1 (11-ounce) can Pillsbury thin-crust pizza dough
2 chicken breasts from a prepared rotisserie chicken, chopped
Ranch dressing, to taste
Provolone cheese slices
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients. Combine cabbage, feta, and green onions, and toss with vinaigrette. Chill cole slaw at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400. Unroll pizza dough onto a lightly greased or foil-covered baking sheet; bake 5 minutes.
3. Toss chicken with 1 tablespoon ranch dressing. Remove dough from oven, and top with chicken mixture and provolone cheese slices; bake 5 to 7 more minutes or until edges of crust are golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbling.
4. Toss cole slaw with a little more ranch dressing, to taste, and top pizza with slaw and crumbled bacon. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

2 comments:

Joy says:
at: 7:33 PM said...

You keep ruining my many diets with your to-die-for recipes!

Your blog is lovely as I always remember you and your family being. I worked for your Dad for years not too awful long ago. Now I'm in the nuclear engineering field in Atlanta. Loved your Dad and it was an incredible learning experience but it's safer being in the nuclear industry!

Love the blog!

Joy Garrett

K. says:
at: 1:17 PM said...

you're so sweet! thanks so much. don't go on too many diets—nuclear engineering sounds hard! you gotta keep your strength up!

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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.

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