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worlds best appetizer

posted May 12, 2009, 7:18 AM by Guy Barbato
ok, it's getting late on a friday -- and a boy's mind turns to food and beverages. this is the BEST snack and goes particularly well with your favorite adult beverage... it's called "Tarongia" (in italian). essentially a giant deep fried pizza crust topped with good stuff. as with all things eaten on weekend; it has zero calories. here's our version.

Tarongia With Fennel

Yield: 8 Servings (or... 2, depending on your serving size...)
  • 1 Pizza Dough
  • 2 Ounce Provolone Cheese, around 6 Slices
  • 2 Cup Fennel Bulb, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Cup Vidalia Onion, Thinly Sliced
  • 2 Tablespoon Garlic, Thinly Sliced
  • 2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (go on... use more. i know you want to!)
Prepare (or buy -- yuk!) enough pizza dough (if you really need a recipe; i can post it). Saute the fennel and onion in the olive oil until they begin to sweat, then add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Continue to saute until the vegetables are transparent. Allow to cool. Prepare a 10-12 inch diameter pot for deep frying (use a lower quality pure olive oil or corn oil or, heck, mix them 50:50), about 350 degrees F. Split the dough into 2 rounds (if you will use a 12 inch pot) or 3 rounds (for a 10 inch pot). Deep fry the tarongia until golden brown on each side. Place the tarongia on a cookie sheet or pizza pan and top each with the sliced provolone and then the sauteed vegetables. Bake in a 400 degree F oven until the cheese begins to melt and the vegetables warm through. Remove from the oven and finish with some fresh cracked black pepper, shreds of good parmesan cheese and the remaining fennel fronds. Slice with a pizza wheel. (In Italy they might also top these with anchovies; but each to their own taste [said the lady as she kissed the cat]! ). if you don't like anchovies; go ahead and add a 1/2 cup of pitted oil cured olives before tossing it into the oven -- just the right amount of saltiness to complement a decent scotch. obligatory estimated nutritional info. Per Serving: 236 Cal (30% from Fat, 12% from Protein, 58% from Carb); 7 g Protein; 8 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 4 g Mono Fat; 34 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 73 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 782 mg Sodium; 5 mg Cholesterol