Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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Blogger at: and -- My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually studied design and photography. I also was a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines from 1998-2005, and had an in-house PR company for a while. Cooking is in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and their father was a pastry chef, my mom's mother was a caterer, who published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries when she was 92. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, and we're not afraid to experiment. I have a yen for interior design and remodeling.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

GF Pizza with Pumpkin-herb sauce, chicken, and caramelized onions

I can't make my own crust anymore.  Waaah.  Okay, at least not for another 6-8 weeks of this trial gluten-free diet that my doctor put me on.  So I decided to try a gluten-free pizza crust mix.  This particular mix is manufactured by Gluten Free Mama, (coincidentally in my old highschool-era hometown of Polson, Montana-- GOOOO PIRATES!!) and while I followed the directions closely, I'm not sure I hit the sweet spot exactly.  Maybe I let the dough sit for too long or not long enough or maybe my kitchen was too cool.  I did not get quite the pizza-crust texture I had hoped for, with springy, stretchy, and bready air pockets.  But it tasted quite good otherwise, so the flavor was very similar to a pizza dough-- and I'll experiment a little with it next time.  Or maybe it's just impossible to get that kind of puffy artisan yeasty-airiness in gluten-free flour mixes.  I'm still learning here.  Either way, my husband even thought it was good -- or at least a good stand-in for regular pizza dough.  I might experiment with rolling some garlic, and herbs into the dough next time, too.

I also was so busy trying to follow directions that there are no step-by-step photos of this process, but I did take a picture of the finished pizza.  Errrhm... I mean, a picture of the half-eaten finished pizza.

There are really only four components on the pizza-- the pumpkin-sauce, sauteed onions, and skillet-fried chicken, cut into chunks and grated mozzarella.  I tried to caramelize the onions but got impatient and forgot to babysit them so they ended up a little bit brown in some parts, and just had the consistency of regular-sauteed onion in general, so rest assured: I will admit my own mistakes when I make them!

For the sake of brevity, then, I'll just tell you what went into the sauce and you can fill in the gaps. I know you can do it.  You're smart readers.


1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 tbsp fresh oregano, finely minced up
1/2 tsp paprika
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked pepper

Just stir that together (adjust seasonings to your individual preferences-- for more sweetness or tanginess add a little more balsamic, or for more smokey flavor, add more paprika, for instance.)  Spread it out on the pizza crust of your choice, as dictated by your taste preferences, or dietary needs.  Top with chicken, caramelized onions, mozzarella...

And... voilà!

(Please, please for the love -- I'm taking this opportunity to use
"voilà" here to show the correct usage, because there's a slightly hilarious, if not disturbing, trend in the blogosphere to spell it any number of barbarous ways ... I have seen "Viola" [which is, in fact, a stringed instrument related to the violin.]  I have also seen "Wah-Lah" and "Woalah" and "Vwala"... "Wallah" and "Waalaa." All of them are incorrect, so as much as I don't want to come across as some French-language expert (because I don't speak it at all) I still want to point out that it is: "Voilà" and in French it means  something like "See there!?" or  "There you see it." )

See there?  So commit it to memory.  Thank you.

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