Naked German Of The Week, Spanish restaurants where every dish is shaped like a mickey and eccentric entertainers like The Amazing Randy. Euro Trash – what an exceptionally deadly TV show. Not only did it make me laugh me hoop off, but it always provided me with a glib satisfaction that Europeans were as equally fucked up and flawed as the Yanks.
I moved to Dublin from Jersey City when I was ten. My first day of school involved having the shite knocked out of me just for using American phrases like bathroom instead of jax. I could understand plain auld prepubescent xenophobia when it came to being mistreated, but throughout my teens I would get constantly berated for being thick and useless simply because of my nationality (I think). The common perception was that every citizen on the other side of the Atlantic spent their days shopping for plaid golf clothing and accidentally killing their pets by placing them in microwaves. It wasn’t until Euro Trash came along that I could safely have enough back up to say that the old world was indeed as tacky, obscene and zany as the new.
Yank bashing by Europeans doesn’t end with general stereotyping either, they can be more specific when they want to be. During the Dubya era, one could read a daily put down of him in any newspaper around the continent. As if no story would be complete without a dig at Americans and their choice of leader. And yet, as I write this Berlusconi is looking at another stint in court – this time they want to jail him for having sexy time with an underaged brasser. Stay classy Silvio!
I draw the line with food though. Feel free to slag off our culture and elected officials, but you cannot claim that American cuisine is shite. Admittedly, we may have given the world Twinkies and corn dogs, but we also created Cajun cuisine and mastered the fine art of barbecuing. And I just recently discovered that the heavenly stromboli was actually invented by an Italian American in Philly. Pizzas may have first been baked by the Neapolitans a couple opf hundred years ago, but they got pimped out and perfected in the 50’s. A stromboli is basically a pizza that is rolled like a turnover, which means that you can stuff a load more toppings into it. A prime example would be this little bad boy here:
This is pizza for grown ups. Something with that kind of sex appeal would be wasted on the under 18’s. If you wanna take the humble pizza and turn it into an edible porn star, then read on.
STROMBOLI: THE ROCK COOK BOOK VERSION
- Enough of my pizza dough to cover a lasagne dish. Click here for the recipe
- About 1.5 ladles of my Cork Street Marinara. Click here for the recipe
- 1 packet of Hick’s Chorizo – Buy this at their Temple Bar Market or from Liston’s on Camden St
- 8 slices of milano salami – any Superquinn will stock this
- 8 slices of spicy salami
- a fistful of sundried tomatoes
- a tablespoon of capers or olives
- 2 ladles of dried mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg beaten for an egg wash
- 1 tablespoon of polenta to sprinkle on top
- little drops of olive oil
- Fry or ideally, barbecue your Hick’s Chorizo sausages. Let them cool off and then slice diagonally into half inch cuts. Heat your oven to 180 degrees.
- Get a baking tray of some sort or a lasagne dish. Cover it with some parchment paper that you brush with some olive oil.
- Dust a flat surface with some flour to roll out your pizza dough on. Roll out enough dough to just about cover the dish. The dough can’t be too thin or it will collapse with the fillings. Leave it about half an inch thick and keep it rectangular, like so:
- Smother some marinara sauce on the dough, without touching the outer perimeters of it. Then drop half of the cheese on and the sausages on top of that evenly, like so:
- You then have to evenly place the sun dried tomatoes and capers on, then the milano salami, then the rest of the cheese and then the spicy salami. Like so:
- At this point, you have to brush the dry, outer perimeters of the dough with some egg wash. Then you have to start rolling it from the widest section in, so that you will end up with something that will resemble a Vienna roll/turnover.
- You will be left with a crease in the top of the dough, seal this tightly by pressing each side in. The eggwash will hold it together.
- You should now have something that looks like a big fuck off baguette with a seal on top. Brush the top of it all with the egg wash and then sprinkle on the polenta evenly. The polenta will give it a great crunch.
- Bang it in the oven for an hour. Let it sit for a few minutes to cool off and settle. You slice each serving into 2 – 3 inch pieces. When you cut it open you should see something like this:
- You can garnish it slightly by drizzling some marinara on top of it. Feel free to change any of the fillings. For instance, you can replace all of the marinara with puréed roasted garlic. Chicken instead of the sausage, etc.
This is exactly my kind of food. Shit loads of pig flesh, cheese, sauce and a nice dough to soak it all up. Don’t be shy, give it a lash. If you can’t be arsed making the dough, one tip that I picked up from my Uncle Jimmy is to buy some from your local pizza joint.