Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sweet Sausage and Caramelized Shallot Pizza

In my Martha Stewart fantasies, I serve this with a crisp salad for a well rounded meal. But I spare the salad the humiliation knowing that it would just sit there on the sidelines, neglected and bored, like Kim Kardashian at a Reggie Bush game.

After all, stomach space is too scarce to fill up with boring lettuce when the smell of sausage is near. Instead I put this pizza out with lots of ice cold beer and carefully step out of the way of the stampede...after stealing the best pieces for myself, of course.

Sweet Sausage and Caramelized Shallot Pizza

1/2 of the recipe for The Pioneer Woman's Pizza Dough

2 teaspoons or so olive oil, plus more for drizzling over pizza dough
7-8 jawbreaker sized shallots, peeled and sliced fairly thin
Pinch sea or kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
4 sweet Italian sausage links, removed from skin and broken up with fingers or wooden spoon
Healthy pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon dried English mustard
1/2 cup vermouth or dry white wine
4-5 tablespoons ricotta cheese, broken up with your fingers or two spoons and scattered evenly over the crust
olive oil
1 cup of fresh mozzarella chunks, broken up from a ball with your fingers
1/3 cup (or more) shredded parmesan cheese
Sea salt, for sprinkling over top of pizza (if you're a salt freak) and more pepper
Couple handfuls of fresh oregano leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Add the olive oil to a large rimmed nonstick skillet. Put the heat on medium and add the shallots, seasoning with salt and pepper (depending on the size of your shallots, you might need more oil so use your best judgement.) Cook, stirring occasionally until soft and beginning to caramelize - about 7 minutes. Add in the sausage, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon into smaller bits. Season with the nutmeg and English mustard and cook for about 10-12 minutes until no longer raw (but not until the sausage starts to dry out and crisp up.) Add in the white wine or vermouth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the liquid has evaporated (will take a couple minutes.) Once the pan is mostly dry again, kill the heat and put it to the side to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray it with nonstick spray, then sprinkle over a couple of tablespoons of either cornmeal or semolina flour, trying to scatter it evenly by tipping the pan from side to side.

Take your cold dough and begin to carefully stretch it out with your fingers. Once it's begun to obey you, lay the dough on the prepared sheet pushing it out gently with your finger tips so that it gets as thin and wide as possible (taking up as much of the pan as possible) without getting too many holes in it. This will seem impossible at first, but with time and patience, you'll get there. It probably won't take up the entire surface area of the pan but pretty close.

Drizzle the dough lightly with olive oil and sprinkle ever so lightly with sea salt or kosher salt (omit the salt if you are one of those people who finds things too salty - unfortunately I'm not one of those people.) Repeat with pepper.

Scatter the ricotta cheese over the dough, distributing as evenly as possible and using your fingers if necessary to break up the clumps. Repeat with the fresh mozzarella, filling in the gaps. Now add the sausage/shallot mixture again spreading as evenly as possible. Sprinkle over the parmesan and bake for 15 minutes or just until the edges are beginning to turn golden and the cheese is nice and melted and also beginning to get nice and tan in places.

Remove and sprinkle immediately with plenty of fresh oregano (this MAKES it - I tell you.) Carefully use the foil to lift the pizza onto a cutting board and let it rest for a couple minutes before slicing.


Jami said...

This looks like my kind of pizza! I'm going to mark this and give it a try. Thanks!

Jenn said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!! I'm sorry, you lost me at the picture there, my eyes got all glazed over and I couldn't concentrate!! Did you say something about Reggie Bush dating Martha Stewart? hehehe
YUM!! I'd help you eat that if you need me too :)

Reeni said...

I'd be a part of the stampede! This rocks!

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Jami - if it seems like you'd like it I promise you will:)

Jenn - you crack me up! In Martha's dreams;) Ha ha!

Reeni - always love you stopping by. You and I definitely share an appreciation for the salty savory side of life!!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Good call on blowing off the salad, you wouldn't want to hurt its feelings :) the pizza looks amazing. I'm bookmarking it now!

Mary said...

This looks terrific. I adore pizza. Re: the steaks. I knew they were coming so I was set to go and had some thoughts as to what to do with them. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Angie's Recipes said...

Caramelized shallot pizza...that's definitely my type of comfort food!
p.s Frog legs taste really great! :-))

Karen said...

Wow! This looks incredible! I love caramelized shallots with just about anything.

How to Cook a Mockingbird said...

Everything about this recipe sounds absolutely delicious.
3 of my favorite things, caramelized shallot, sausage and pizza.
Definitely going to try this, as soon as possible.

lisa is cooking said...

Caramelized shallots sound delicious! Good move to grab the best slices first. ;) And, now I'm craving pizza at 8:30am.

whozyerdanny said...

Looks super tasty....and as i always say " there's not enough meat in vegetables!"