Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pizza and gravy?

That just doesn't sound right, does it? Especially on our Brunchtastic Thursday.

Until you think "Well, she puts EVERYTHING on a pizza." And then you think "What kind of gravy could it be at breakfast?"

That's right, people. Sausage gravy. That cholesterol-laden Southern pie form.

Who needs to mix up a fresh-from-scratch batch of biscuits first thing in the morning? (Okay, for our purposes here, we're just going to ignore the fact that flaky, delicious, buttery homemade biscuits are, in fact, flaky, delicious and buttery. Go with me, will you?) Creamy sausage gravy stands up better to the toasted crispiness of pizza crust anyway. And unlike biscuits, which have a tendency to be smothered in the high-calorie but delectable sauce, crusts let a little go a long, tasty way.

For convenience? This pizza is absolutely perfect with a pre-made storebought crust. Even those ones that look like a great big really flat hockey puck and come in a bag of three or four. It also works great with something that popped out of a can. Frankly? It even works wonderfully on a loaf of French bread you've split and toasted in the oven. But if you just can't imagine your sausage gravy sans biscuit? Make your biscuits, whether boxed or scratch, and spread the dough on your pizza pan. Still the fun and portion control of pizza, but more of the flavor of the original.

1 pre-baked pizza crust

½ pound breakfast sausage

3 T. flour

2 c. milk

2 oz. cream cheese, cubed

Salt and pepper

1 c. shredded colby jack cheese

Parsley or chives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pizza crust on baking sheet. Bake crust for 5 minutes. Set aside. (Working with an unbaked crust, or biscuit dough? Just blind bake it for about 10-15 minutes. If you're using French bread, just split and toast until barely golden.)

In a skillet, crumble and brown sausage. Remove sausage to another dish, but do not drain the pan. Place the pan over medium heat and sprinkle flour over sausage drippings. Depending on the sausage, you may need more or less flour to make a paste or roux. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly, until a creamy, spreadably thick sauce is achieved. You may need more or less milk. Stir in cream cheese until the gravy is smooth. Add the sausage and remove from heat.

Spread the gravy over the crust, using only as much as you think your pizza needs. Any leftovers are great with toast. Sprinkle with cheese and finish with parsley or chives. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted but not browned.

Extra Extra!!!

It’s official – Biscuits and gravy are more than a truck-stop staple. The simple, oh-so-country fare is so important in some parts of the country that the government has gotten into the act. In 1988, the Oklahoma State Legislature named sausage gravy and biscuits as an Official State Meal.

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