Don't have access to hot Italian sausage? Make your own! Instead of grinding it myself, I buy it pre-ground and just add my seasonings.
I miss Americanized pizza. Hubby misses Americanized pizza. Delivery pizza is just not the same here. The crust is blah. It make the normal delivery pizza companies in the US taste outstanding. There are a few Italian pizza places in town, and they have great pizza, but it's not Americanized... it's Italian. Which is all well and good, but I've grown accustomed to lots of topping, a choice between thick, thin, and pan crust, and lots of cheese, and that's not traditional Italian. So when I order from a delivery pizza place in town, I generally order Indian food (yes, you read that correctly, most of the delivery joints deliver pizza and Indian food... and beer and wine). And Hubby has given up on ordering from the delivery places.
So when I noticed this week's challenge, I was a little nervous. I've only made pizza once before, and Hubby wasn't around for that. On top of that, he eats at the local Italian place quite frequently since it's so close to his work and has free wi-fi, which means he can work and eat lunch at the same time (such discipline, I would spend the whole time surfing the net instead of working). So, I was nervous about making pizza for him. So much so that I didn't tell him that I was making it until about an hour before I got home from work. I mentioned that the recipe called for chicken, but he asked for bell peppers and Italian sausage instead. I obliged.
If you'll notice, the subtitle of this blog is Bistro Grilled Chicken Pizza (sort of), but I didn't use my grill or chicken. The broiler function here is called the grill function instead, so I took that as license to use my broiler instead of making Hubby get out and light up our tiny charcoal grill that the pizza dough probably wouldn't fit on. Since Hubby doesn't like chicken on pizza (and frankly there is only one chicken pizza I really like and it's only available at the Domino's in the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center), I begged Tabs to let me change up the recipe a bit. Considering I've always been the stickler for sticking to the recipe, I knew it'd be fine. And that's how my Bistro Grilled Chicken Pizza turned into Semi-Homemade* Broiled Italian Sausage Pizza (2 ways).
Hubby's pizza ready to go back in the oven for the final broil.
Semi-Homemade Broiled Italian Sausage Pizza (2 ways)
(heavily adapted from the all-new ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, original recipe here)
2 containers refrigerated pizza crust
2 tsp olive oil
2 (14 ounce) cans hot pizza sauce, gently warmed on the stove
10 ounces hot Italian sausage, castings removed, browned and drained (see photo note above)
1/2 green bell pepper, thin sliced
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 small onion, sliced into half rings, submerged in water and chilled at least 30 minutes
1 pound shredded mozzarella
12 fresh basil leaves
yield: 2 pizzas
Preheat oven on high heat (as high as it will go), positioning rack in the middle of the oven.
Unroll one crust and brush evenly with 1 tsp olive oil. Invert dough directly onto cooking rack, peel off the baking paper it came on, and broil using top heating element only 3 to 4 minutes or until the top of the dough is browned. Turn dough over (I used two sets of tongs for this step) and broil 2-3 minutes or until top is set. Carefully remove crust from rack to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
Spread half of the sauce evenly over crust; sprinkle evenly with 8 ounces of mozzarella. Sprinkle with 7 ounces crumbled Italian sausage and the bell pepper. Return to hot oven and broil 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly brown on top.
While the first pizza is on it's final broil, unroll the next crust and brush with remaining olive oil. When the first pizza is done, remove from oven to large cutting board and serve immediately. Repeat initial broiling process with the second crust.
Once the second crust is set and out of the oven, spread the rest of the sauce evenly over the dough. Sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese. Top with 3 ounces crumbled Italian sausage, the sliced onion (drained), sliced mushrooms, and fresh basil. Return to oven and broil 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted ans slightly brown on top. Serve immediately.
You might notice that the upper right corner of the pizza is... weird. I might have had trouble flipping it the first time because one of my sets of tongs focuses all the pressure on one point instead of spreading it out. Nicely, I had this issued worked out by the second pizza.
Hubby's pizza was gone before I pulled mine out of the oven. However, in the future, I'll use my own pizza crust and sauce because the crust available in the refrigerated section was absolutely tasteless. It made me yearn for Mellow Mushroom's springwater crust. So now I have to learn how to make pizza crust. Wish me luck! As far as the original recipe goes, I like the method and it translated easily to the oven. I've been waiting to get a pizza stone before I made pizza in the oven, but this method allows me to get a nice crispy crust without burning the cheese and other toppings. If you don't have a pizza stone, I highly recommend this method of mostly prebaking the crust directly on the cooking rack before adding the toppings.
Please-make-me-Americanized-pizza-again-but-with-better-crust-and-sauce: 1 vote
Yay-I-actually-got-to-eat-a-mushroom-and-onion-pizza: 1 vote
For Tab's take on Bistro Grilled Chicken Pizza (sort of), head on over to Double the Garlic!
* Is it bistro because it uses store bought crust and sauce?
My favorite pizza: heavy on the mushrooms and onions, light on the Italian sausage
Do you have a great crust recipe? Please share! And what is your favorite pizza? Restaurant pizza? (Mine's the Magical Mystery Tour from Mellow Mushrooms with added onions)