Friday, October 29, 2010
I'm always on the lookout for new, interesting pizza recipes, so when I came across this recipe for Pizza Cordon Bleu in Cheap. Fast. Good!, I stuck a post-it to the page right away.
This pizza takes it's name from the often-breaded, ham and cheese stuffed chicken breast dish, Chicken Cordon Bleu. You can buy Chicken Cordon Bleu pre-made and frozen...ready to pop right into the oven. The first time I ate cordon bleu, this is exactly how it was prepared. I know that I shared this story before, when I wrote about Chicken Kiev. In case you missed it, here's that story again:
In college, we'd have an assortment of pre-made, pre-frozen, stuffed and breaded chicken breasts for our weekly formal dinner at my sorority house. I can just see our house mom and the cook deliberating over an order form while the frozen food delivery guy looked on. When they saw "Cordon Bleu" and "Chicken Kiev" they probably thought, "That sounds fancy enough for formal dinner." What ended up on our plates was anything but fancy. It was actually kind of spongy. Ewww. One of my roommates took to calling them hamsters. Why? Well, because those pre-made, pre-frozen, breaded chicken bundles were roughly the size and shape of hamsters. Gross. I can still hear my roommate hollering down the hall to me, "Hurry up, Bailey!(My maiden name) Hamsters tonight! You don't wanna miss out on hamsters!" And then she'd laugh a sort of evil laugh as she descended the stairs to the kitchen. Seconds later, I'd drag my feet as I followed her...
Well, this Pizza Cordon Bleu was WAY better than hamsters! With it's creamy Dijon mustard and sour cream base, topped with sauteed mushrooms, red onion, tender bites of chicken, diced ham, and topped with freshly shredded Swiss, this easy weeknight dinner was a fast favorite. I altered the recipe to suit the tastes of my kiddos and everyone left the table happy and full.
Here's how it came together:
I used a tube of refrigerated pizza dough for the crust, so to begin, I preheated the oven according to the directions on the pizza dough package.
Then, I cut up 2 chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, seasoned them, and cooked them in a skillet heated with a tablespoon or two of olive oil until no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. You can prepare the chicken by roasting, boiling, broiling, or grilling as well. Leftover chicken would work for this too.
I added 1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced and 1-1/2 cups sliced button mushrooms to the skillet (don't wipe it down after the chicken) and saute until tender. Not shown and not necessarily a necessary step: I moved the onion and mushrooms over to one side of the skillet and tossed in a cup of diced ham (leftover from Monday's Ham and Cheese Risotto) and let it sizzle and brown for a bit while I prepared the pizza sauce.
To make the sauce, just stir together a couple of tablespoons of Dijon mustard with 1/4 cup of sour cream (I used light).
Oil a baking sheet, sprinkle with a bit of cornmeal, and press the pizza dough to fit the pan. Spread with the prepared sauce.
I knew that my kiddos would never go for a mustard-based pizza sauce, so I spread their portion with Ranch dressing.
Now sprinkle all of the yummy toppings over the sauce. I only used chicken and ham on the kid portion.
I grated about 2 cups of Swiss cheese over the whole pizza and then baked it for about 15 minutes. Lately, I've been lining my kitchen counter top with waxed or parchment paper and sliding our pizzas out of the pan and directly onto the counter for easy slicing and quick cooling. Put a towel underneath the paper to save your countertops if you're afraid the heat or slicer will leave a mark.
My first piece...
Here's a closer look. Mmmmm.
I mostly used the ingredients recommended for this recipe, but I largely did my own thing with the preparation. Here's the recipe that I prepared, inspired by Cheap. Fast. Good!:
Pizza Cordon Bleu
1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
2 cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup diced ham
1-1/2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup sour cream
1-2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (shred your own from a block if you like!)
Preheat the oven according to directions on the pizza dough "tube". Cut up, season, and cook the chicken breast...or cook, cut-up, and season the chicken breasts. Whatever works for you. Set aside.
Sautee the onion, then add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Push to the side of the skillet, making room for the ham. Add the diced ham to the skillet and fry until some of the water cooks off and the ham starts to brown.
Mix together the mustard and sour cream.
Wipe the pizza sheet with oil and dust with cornmeal. Press dough to fit your baking sheet or form the dough into a circle. Spread the mustard/sour cream mixture unto the pizza dough.
Top the pizza with the chicken, ham, onion, and mushrooms. Sprinkle evenly with shredded Swiss cheese.
Bake pizza according to directions on the pizza dough package. I think that mine baked at 375-400 degrees for 15 minutes.