Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cajun Andouille & Portabello Grilled Pizza

Well, hello there.  It's been awhile.  A long while.  Since my last post, the hubby and I bought a house, and had a baby.  I guess we've been a little busy.  So now I'm venturing into the world of SAHMs (Stay At Home Mom's for the unititiated...) and I've been enjoying having the time to cook more.  I'm going to make an effort to get more stuff back on the blog, not that anyone actually reads this, but it's fun for me!

Anyways - I love to grill pretty much everything in the summer. I even made ice cream on the grill....well, part of it - grilled peaches for the ice cream. That was yummy.

Pizza is a great thing to throw on the barbie.  The heat of the grill approximates a wood fired oven so you get a super crispy and yummy crust.  The only thing is that you can't count on cooking raw ingredients that top your pizza - so you need to prep toppings ahead of time - the grilling is basically just the melting of the cheese and the cooking of the crust.

I had some chicken andouille sausage from Trader Joe's and thought it would be fun to make that into a Cajun style pizza.  So I did.  This pizza is super yummy.  The sausage is spicy and hearty, the sauce zingy and smoky, the cheese creamy, the mushrooms earthy and meaty, and the 'green' toppings so fresh and bright.  All tastes phenomenal on the tangy, crispy crust.  Here's how you can make it too.

Toppings
  • 2 Chicken Andouille Sausages, grilled and sliced into medallions
  • 2 Portabello mushrooms grilled (season with S&P, EVOO, and some fresh chopped parsley before grilling) and sliced
  • 1 scallion, green and white part, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 shallot, very thinly sliced
  • 1 handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 bag shredded jack cheese
  • Cajun b├ęchamel sauce (recipe follows)
For the Dough
I chose to use my sourdough started for a sourdough pizza crust.  The tang of the crust pairs really nicely with the richness of the sauce and cheese. The recipe I used is from King Arthur Flour.  I love their flour, and their recipes have never done me wrong.  Find it HERE.

After the initial proofing and forming, you can let it rise a lot or a little.  I made two thin crusts from the recipe.  The first one rised (rose?) for just about 15 minutes and it made a thin and very crispy crust.  The second one went for about an hour and it was much breadier, but still had a nice crispy crust on the bottom.

Let the dough rise on a pizza stone or metal baking sheet that you'll put on the grill.  Set your grill to medium high heat, and let the crust cook until the bottom starts to get some color (check it by lifting the edge with a spatula) and the top looses it's raw look.  Then, flip it over and cook for another few minutes. Remove from the heat, and bring it inside to top.

For the Sauce
The sauce is really what makes the pizza. It's creamy, spicy and smoky and oh so good! 
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1.5 cups milk (I didn't measure this - but this is probably how much you'll need!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • S&P to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt-free cajun seasoning (the simple trick to make this super yummy!)
To start, make a roux with 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp flour. In true Cajun style, let this cook until it's a nice nutty brown.  Then add milk slowly while you vigorously whisk the sauce to keep the lumps out.  Keep whisking in milk until the sauce starts to seem thin.  Reduce the heat to low, and stir frequently, just until it thickens.  While it thickens, season it up!  Add in the garlic, smoked paprika, basil, cajun seasoning, and S&P to taste.  Once the sauce is thickened, turn the heat off, cover it, and set aside until ready to assemble your pizza.  If you're intimidated by roux/bechamel making, check out my super shaky video tutorial HERE.

Now to assemble the pizza!

Start by spooning the sauce onto the crust and spreading it evenly over the entire crust. Then, add your shredded cheese.  Follow with the sausage and portabello mushrooms. Next comes the scallion and shallots, and another little sprinkle of cheese just to "glue" it all together.

Take the pizza back out to your grill. The heat should be set at medium - it it's too hot your crust will burn before all the cheese melts.  Grill the pizza with the cover closed just until the cheese is melty and starts to bubble. 

To finish, sprinkle the top of the pizza with some of the fresh chopped parsley, cut and serve!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stationery Card

Ribbon Dot Boy Birth Announcement
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