Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Grilled Chicken Sausage and Apple Pizza

Many of you have enjoyed pizza with me before (from Rocky's to Costco Pizza with LM guys to Jake's Pizza Night). Many of you have had pizza I have made before (Pesto Pizza with Mom, Continuation of Pizza Night With Jake and Bill). This one is for all of you. I decided to get a little crazy, to try something new.

I was inspired by what I think was a similar pizza at Rock City Grille, but I could be wrong. Using Jake's beloved whole wheat and honey dough, and mothers pizza sauce as a base for the creation, this was an attempt to use fruit in a traditional (well kind of traditional) pizza.

(I am writing this away from my recipe, I will update this when I get home)

Mother's Sauce (per Pizza):
8oz (one small can) Tomato Sauce
some Grated Parmesan Cheese (the cheap Kraft kind, in the green container, works the best. Don't use fancy cheese here)
some Parsely
some Oregano
some Garlic Powder
some Basil

This is a classic example of my mother saying "You know... use enough to make it work." She taught me how to make this, and it is really not that hard, you just have to be creative. Pour the sauce in a bowl, add the other ingredients, and mix well. Taste it and see if you want to add more. There will be approximately equal parts of Parsley, Garlic Powder, Basil and Oregano, and about double to triple parts Cheese. The cheese is what makes this great (I know, I know... cheese makes everything great). If you have something to dip (like a pepperoni) it makes this whole process super fun.

Mother's Sauce (see above)
Chicken Sausage (If you can get Applewood sausage, I got a bunch of this at Costco. It is great stuff)
1 Granny Smith Apple
1 Onion
A little Oil
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Shredded Provolone Cheese
Wild Jack Buffalo Sharp Cheddar (see below)

Pre-Heat the oven! To 500 Degrees!

About the cheese: I went to Market District (Giant Eagle's attempt at a good store) to get the cheese I needed. I went to the cheese section and asked the lady there for her suggestion on what I should get for this pizza. I told her what I was trying and she immediately went over and grabbed this pepper jack looking cheddar and said: "Honey, this stuff will go great." Then she gave me two plastic containers with shredded Provolone and Mozzarella. So if you are trying to make this exactly, look for a spicy cheddar, it can be as hot as you want it to be, this ended up adding a lot of flavor to the whole thing. This also added a lot of cost to the whole pizza. I think I spent $12 just on cheese. You can easily just get Mozzarella cheese from the refrigerator section of the store for a lot less, and it would work fine.

So in preparation: Chop and saute the onion in some oil, set a side. Cook the sausage and bacon. You can get creative here, you can cook the bacon in a fry pan, then saute the onion in the bacon grease (oh man... I love bacon onion.) Then boil the sausage, or cook the sausage in the fry pan too. I went with a more summer approach. I grilled both the sausage and the bacon. I didn't really know you could grill bacon, but it does make sense. Just be sure you watch it. It does give off a lot of grease, and that grease does like to catch on fire, just watch it. Once cooked, slice the sausage in to small rounds (or half rounds if you have large sausage) and crumble the bacon. For the apple, cut it in thirds, or fourths, cut out the seeds, then slice very thin.

Spread some corn meal on the pan/stone you are going to bake everything on. Roll out the dough in the shape of the pan/stone, transfer to the pan/stone. Spread the sauce on the dough (as much as you want, I really like the sauce, so I used a lot). Add a layer of Mozzarella and Provolone (this can be omitted if you are trying to cut back on the amount of cheese used). Add bacon and sausage, distribute over the entire pizza. Add onions. Then layer apple over other ingredients.
It should look similar to this!
Now add some more Provolone and Mozzarella, completely covering the other toppings. Then add the Sharp Cheddar.
Mmmm.... Pizza...
Now throw the pie in to the oven. This next part takes some finesse. Bake the pizza for about 8-18 minutes. This all depends on the pan you are using, the amount of toppings and the cheese you are using. You want the pizza to be cooked, but not burnt, and you want the cheese to be melt and bubbly. I would set a timer for 5 minutes, then check every 2 minutes after. You have all had pizza, when it looks like you would eat it, take it out.
Done. And great.
Take it out of the oven (if you are in my house, get the smoke alarms to turn off), let it cool a little, and enjoy.

Some notes on the dough: If you are getting to the point where the top is done, but the dough is not cooked all the way. Try this: Roll the dough out on the pan, but before adding toppings or sauce, put the pizza in for 3-4 minutes. This will partially cook the dough, and give it a head start when baking the whole thing.

Also invest in a Pizzazz. Penny gave me one a while ago. They are the greatest single kitchen invention ever. They make pizza so very easy. I left mine back home... I really wish I had it for this pizza.

I initially made this for Gwyn and myself. Her reaction was good, but it was too spicy so she had to eat it slowly. Larry tried it, he said that it was the best pizza he has ever had.

Because I didn't use up all of the dough and all of the cheese, I made another one the next week. This time for toppings: Onions, Peppers, Mushrooms and French Fries! It was also great.


  1. Yummmm! Gram would be proud of you understanding the concept of "You know... use enough to make it work." and "You have all had pizza, when it looks like you would eat it, take it out." I wish more people would understand that! :-)
    Sounds great!!! Leave it to you to come up with a great one! You really do need to think about a cook book!

  2. Scratch the cook book ... I say you go for a cooking show!! It would be a crack up!!! Remember the old Star Wars videos you and Chris would make ... this would take it to a whole new level!