Up North there is a great stone oven pizza place we like to frequent whenever we can. The Rivers Eatery has an interesting and innovative menu of pizzas - many of them named after Wisconsin waterways. Missing from their selection however, is the "Chippewa". A campaign to change that has been launched.
The "Chippewa" concept - a bratwurst pizza.
Campaign Strategy #1 - Delivery of a starter kit of key ingredients -Frank's sauerkraut, Silver Springs honey mustard, and Gordy's own Oktoberfest bratwurst to owners Beth and Mick to encourage them to experiment with the "Chippewa".
Campaign strategy #2 - Test the recipe with an experienced pizza chef, friend, and NDL reader who has tried several of The Rivers Eatery creations.
First she made a beautiful dough.
We rinsed and drained the kraut and squeezed it dry. The Sweet Bavarian contains caraway seeds and has a sweeter, less vinegary taste so needs draining and squeezing, but no rinsing. (I found the sweet kraut preferable. If the traditional is your choice, you might consider a light sprinkle of caraway seeds or use caraway cheese instead of jack if you can find any.)
Fresh garden onions were caramelized.
The brats were steamed, then browned and sliced.
The dough was made with the best ingredients,
and divided into six ounce balls.
The balls were shaped into 9" crusts and brushed with olive oil.
The crust was then spread with a generous teaspoon of honey mustard thinned with a small amount of Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss beer.
Next, 1/2 cup loosely packed sauerkraut was spread over the mustard sauce and topped with a delicate distribution of caramelized onions.
Brat slices next. We tried versions with anywhere from 9 to 17 (an entire brat with ends) slices and determined it is all good, but about 12 is probably ideal.
1/4 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese topped it all off.
Now for the baking!
Uh oh. Someone forgot to build a stone oven.
The only oven we did have was heated to 475F. The pizza baked for 5 minutes and was then transferred to a pizza stone on the lower rack for an additional 2 minutes. Perfect.
We did quite alot of tasting believe you me. So much so in fact that we couldn't taste another bite so some of the prototypes had to go home for dinner where they were sampled by several other palates with varied levels of sophistication. All declared the "Chippewa" a winner.
Cross your fingers that the 2011 Rivers Eatery menu includes the "Chippewa". If you're Up North stop by, have a pizza and a beverage, and check out the pay it forward board where you might see that someone has bought the next beer for Sandra Day O'Connor, a frequent visitor to the Northwoods. Don't forget to mention how much you have been hankerin' for a bratwurst pizza. A little friendly lobbying never hurts.