Friday, December 21, 2012

Gumbo Pizza

This is an admittedly complicated pizza recipe, but well worth the time and effort to make. A couple of times a year, we make a huge pot of gumbo, stirring and simmering for hours until all of the flavors have mingled and melded. Here, we've broken down our favorite Louisianan recipe into a pizza-ready version.

The first ingredient in any gumbo is the roux: browned flour and oil that serves as the foundation for the rich stock of okra, seafood and andouille sausage.


Heat 1/4 cup canola oil and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for 15-20 minutes until it browns to a nice nutty color. Then stir in 1/4 cup chopped onion, another 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper and 1 clove of chopped garlic and continue cooking until the onion is soft.

While that's going on, measure 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes, 1/2 cup chopped okra (frozen is fine, but thaw it first), 1 tablespoon chopped scallions, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 crumbled bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and a dash each of ground allspice, mace and cloves. Stir all of those ingredients into the pan with the onions and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Since we're not dedicating hours to cooking down the stock, we then used an immersion blender to make a nice smooth sauce.

TOPPINGS (layered in this order):
  1. Very Best Pizza Crust Ever, par-baked
  2. A generous spread of the onion-okra sauce
  3. Thinly sliced andouille sausage (Do yourself a favor and don't substitute any other kinds of smoked sausages; the andouille adds such a distinctive flavor.)
  4. More chopped okra
  5. Grated mozzarella cheese
  6. Raw shrimp, butterflied and/or sliced in half down the middle
  7. Cooked chicken, chopped

Bake at 450 degrees F for about 11 minutes until the shrimp are pink. Serve topped with a splash of Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Crystal.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Latke Pizza

Happy Hanukkah! Maybe you're already eating your fill of latkes, but it seems like prime time to experiment with how everyone's favorite potato pancakes might work in pizza-form.

  • Chop a medium onion and saute in 2 tablespoons of oil over low heat until nicely browning.
  • Peel 2-3 baking potatoes and use a food processor or box grater to shred them into thin strips. Add to the pan with the onions and a healthy pinch of salt and saute until the potatoes are cooked and starting to crisp around the edges. Stir often to prevent sticking.

TOPPINGS (layered in this order):
  1. Simple Crust, par-baked
  2. A generous spread of unsweetened apple sauce
  3. The potato-onion mixture
  4. A small amount of grated mozzarella

Bake at 450 degrees F for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the potatoes look a little browner. Sprinkle the top with chopped chives or scallion tops and dollop with sour cream and additional apple sauce.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fig Pizza Update

Just repeated our Fig Pizza, but this time added a balsamic reduction. Perfection.

To make the reduction, pour 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for several minutes until the liquid has thickened and evaporated out. It's best to do this right before you're ready to use it, otherwise it gets very sticky as it cools.