Thursday, August 1, 2013

Grilled Bratwurst Pizza

As a Wisconsinite, I've eaten more than my fair share of bratwurst. And while there's no real way to improve on a classic - on a (preferably toasted, possibly pretzel) bun with coarse mustard, onion, and sauerkraut - it's not say that it still isn't worth experimenting. Some may say that bratwurst is a bit of sacred cow (or perhaps more accurately, sacred pig), but I still like to use it in a little less conventional ways. I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that bratwurst has an almost universal appeal here, as does pizza, so why not throw the two together? You get all the flavors of the cookout staple - mustard, onion, and kraut - with the added bonus of a healthy layer of melted cheese (another Wisconsin staple). Putting these ingredients together as a pizza also has the added bonus of introducing a much greater surface to the grill, the crust soaking up all the smokiness your charcoal or gas grill has to offer and attaining a magical crisp and chewy texture. This indulgent summer cookout treat will transition nicely into fall, even if the temperatures force the cooking indoors, the perfect companion to a mug of cold beer and Packer game, a reality not so far away.

Grilled Bratwurst Pizza
serves 1

4 ounces whole wheat (or white, in a pinch) pizza dough
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons drained sauerkraut
2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
1 cooked bratwurst, sliced (depending on size, you may not need the whole thing)
2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat a gas grill over medium to medium high heat. Meanwhile, roll pizza out on a into a round or oblong shape, about 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick, depending on desired thickness, and brush both sides with oil.

2. When grill is hot, transfer crust to grill. Replace the lid and cook for 3 minutes without disturbing. After 3 minutes, check the crust for doneness, cooking for an additional few minutes if necessary. Transfer crust to a peel or baking sheet.

3. Spread crust with mustard and top with sauerkraut, onion, and bratwurst. Sprinkle cheese over the top and return the pizza to the grill. Reduce heat to medium low, replace cover, and continue to cook until cheese is melted, about 5 to 10 minutes. Slice and serve promptly.

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