My story is not like the stories of most culinary students. I didn’t have a real passion for cooking as I grew up.
I always thought I wanted to be a teacher, so I pursued elementary education and taught Sunday school.
It was not until I was more than halfway finished with my teaching education that I realized it wasn’t for me.
I have worked in restaurants since I was 15 years old, only participating in the front-of-the-house duties.
A couple of years ago, while working at Bonelli’s Bistro, I was introduced to the kitchen portion of a restaurant. It was then that I truly fell in love with cooking. With encouragement from my friends and family, I am now pursuing my true passion in life at The Culinary Institute of Montana at Flathead Valley Community College. There is no doubt in my mind that I belong here.
Before sitting down to write this column, I asked my mom what food popped into her head when she thought of me. To my surprise, she responded “sauerkraut pizza.” My mother detested sauerkraut, and crinkled her nose when I originally told her about this pizza I wanted to make. Now, she loves it.
One thing I have learned in culinary school is to always give food a second chance. Even if you haven’t liked it in the past, preparing a food in a different way can make all the difference.
That is why we are taught how to cook food not only in the correct way, but also in new and different ways. So, by my mother’s request, I am pleased to share this delicious pizza recipe with you:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 1/2 tbsp. caraway
- 1 yellow onion
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 can sauerkraut (15 oz.)
- 2 cups Alfredo sauce
- 2-4 cups mozzarella, grated
- 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
- 1 pizza crust (I recommend the homemade honey wheat pizza crust recipe below, which adds the perfect blend of sweetness to this recipe)
Brown meat. Drain grease and set aside. Sauté onions. Add the caraway and onion to meat over low heat for a few minutes to marry the flavors.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Rinse sauerkraut to reduce tanginess. Coat pizza crust with Alfredo sauce, and top with meat and sauerkraut.
Sprinkle generously with mozzarella, and add parmesan on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
Honey Wheat Crust Ingredients
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup raw wheat germ
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. honey
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes.
In separate bowl, combine flour, wheat germ, and salt.
Make a well in dry mixture and add honey and yeast mixture to it.
Stir until well combined. Cover and set to rise in a warm place for a few minutes.
Roll out dough in floured pizza pan.
Poke several holes in it with a fork before adding toppings.
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