You may not know this about me: I’m a pizza expert. A professional pizza maker. Or, at least I was in college. For 3 and a half years, pizza was my life.
“It’s a better day at Papa Juan’s, this is Feaux, how can I help you?”
I had two vehicles throughout my pizza delivery career; both reeked of pizza sauce and anchovies by the time I got rid of them. I put about 20,000 miles on those cars each year, thanks to pizzas. This is a college town, and college kids LOOOOOOVE pizza. College kids also don’t know how to tip.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Always tip your pizza delivery driver, peeps. They’re putting miles on their personal cars, burning gas, oil, and every other motor fluid to get that pie to your door hot ‘n fresh. They make minimum wage, plus about 5% of their sales to “cover” the fuel costs for their cars…which doesn’t actually come anywhere near covering fuel & maintenance costs. They pay higher insurance rates for having a “high risk” job that they use their personal vehicles for. They’re hardworking college kids who need a flexible schedule to work around classes, or adults who need a second job to make ends meet. They drive through rain, thunder, snow, sleet, and tornadoes with wet shoes and numb toes, so that you don’t have to. Sometimes, they work ‘til close at 2am, then get up and open the store at 10am the next day, and are very tired.
(Our assistant manager catches a quick catnap during the post-lunch lull.)
They get treated like crap, get snowballs thrown at them, get griped out for not just automatically “having” parmesan & crushed red pepper in their cars… but they take it in stride with a smile on their face and then get back in their vehicles and scream, “I HAVE A BACHELOR’S/MASTER’S DEGREE!!!! I’M A FREAKING HUMAN BEING, PEOPLE!!!” Then they sigh, drive back to the store, and do it all over again. Why? Because of the tips. Without the tips, it’s completely not worth it.
ANYWAY. *jumps off soap box* Where were we? That’s right…PIZZA.
I decided to make a pizza, from scratch, at home the other night. But not just any pizza. A CAJUN pizza. Something I felt honored Louisiana flavors & tradition. Toppings like smoked Andouille sausage, bell peppers, green onions, and jalapenos, and a kicked-up tomato sauce full of Cajun Power. And this was our end result:
This was, and I’m being totally honest, probably one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had.
You don’t HAVE to make your own dough—I did because I wanted to try out my Kitchenaid dough hook. But a store bought crust would not take away from the awesomeness of this pie at ALL. However, if you do want to make your own dough, the basic dough recipe I use is here.
1 6oz can of tomato sauce
1-2 tbsp of Cajun Power (depending on the heat level you like)
1 tsp minced garlic
3 dashes Louisiana hot sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, diced
about 8 leaves fresh basil, julienned (1/4 cup, or 1 tbsp dried basil if you don’t have fresh)
Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl & mix well.
1 link sliced andouille sausage (if you can’t get authentic Louisiana andouille, Johnsonville makes a pretty tasty version)
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
2-3 green onions, sliced
Other Optional Ingredients: mushrooms, tomatoes, etc.
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella
Heat your oven to 425 F.
Spread your crust out on a pizza stone or cookie sheet. Add sauce (if you don’t use all the sauce, that’s okay, it’s great with pasta later in the week, too), then sliced andouille.
Then add peppers & onions & jalapenos, along with any other ingredients you might like. I just tried to keep it somewhat simple with very traditional Cajun ingredients.
Now add cheese.
Now bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust & cheese are lightly browned.
No worries…if it burns a little, just tell people it’s “blackened”. People seem to think Cajun & “blackened” are fairly synonymous.
Let cool for a bit, slice into 8 pieces, and then CHOW DOWN!