Monday, August 4, 2014

Sausage and potato pie... GLUTEN FREE!!!

Going gluten free was not so hard for, say, the first four months.  I like meat and potatoes, and meat and potatoes are still very much available.  I don't like sandwiches very much, so not eating them has not posed much of a problem.  I figured out a good gluten free muffin recipe, tasty and satisfying for a breakfast treat.  Gluten free pasta options exist for when a pasta craving arises (not that often).

But pizza.  Ahhhhh pizza.

Gluten free pizza is not . . . I'm not sure what it's not, but it is definitely not something.

There is also a fly buzzing loudly in my window blind right now, making it difficult for me to focus.

I'm trying.

Sausage and potato pie was born from my attempts to come up with a vegetable crust pizza, because there must be some sort of a pizza crust that is better than those tough, flat rice-flour-tortilla things that every pizza joint has available now.  Sausage and potato pie was born from my hope in a vegetable crust pizza, and the comments after this post.

I was asked for the recipe.

There is no recipe.

But I will try to explain how I did it.

***Short version:

Make mashed potatoes.  Season with your favorite herbs and cheeses, generously.  Beat an egg into these mashed potatoes.  Spread in a buttered deep dish pizza stone.

Brown a pound of sausage.  Use some of the fat from the sausage and a drizzle of molasses to caramelize some onion.  Wilt some baby spinach in olive oil and a splash of white cooking wine. **I also meant to saute some nice mushrooms and pile them on, but I realized I had forgotten to buy them.**

Sprinkle grated sharp cheddar on top of the mashed potatoes.  Pile the sausage, onions, spinach and (if you have them) mushrooms on top of the cheese.  Sprinkle a bunch more sharp cheddar over the top over everything.

Bake in preheated oven on preheated stone at 400 until all the cheese is melted and the edges of the potatoes start to turn golden brown.

***Long version:

6 fairly small potatoes (not tiny, but smaller than what I would call medium)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. minced onion flakes
1/3 cup parmesan cheese (the kind in a plastic can is fine)
1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 lb. sausage (I used gluten free, because this is a GF recipe.  It was rubbery and did not render much fat, which was somewhat but not tremendously disappointing)
1/2 a smallish mild onion (like vidalia, or red)
1 tsp. molasses
1/8-1/4 tsp salt
**1 cup sliced white mushrooms**

2 cups loosely arranged baby spinach (this will cook down to almost nothing)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white cooking wine

1 and 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, or more

You don't need to peel the potatoes, but cut them into small cubes.  Cook in boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes or until tender.  Drain and mash lightly with hand masher.  Add butter and mash some more.

Preheat oven to 400F, with an 11" deep dish pizza stone in it.  Be sure to preheat the stone as well as the oven.

In a small bowl, combine milk, egg, oregano, salt, garlic, and onion.  Beat well with fork.  Beat some of the potato into the milk mixture, being careful not to cook the egg.  Add more of the potato, a little at a time, until the bowl is full.  Then add this mixture back to the rest of the potatoes.  The idea is to be careful and work gradually so you don't cook the egg with the hot potatoes.

Brown the sausage in a skillet or saute pan.  Save the fat.  If you are lucky, you will get enough to caramelize the onion in.  Toss the onion and molasses with the fat until the onion turns golden brown and loses all its crispness.  If you are going to do mushrooms, add them now and toss them around in the pan with the onion until they look and smell delicious.

You can either do the spinach in this pan, or saute it separately in olive oil in another pan. Add the cooking wine and let the spinach thoroughly wilt.

Remove the (very hot) baking stone from your oven.  Add 3 tbsp butter to the baking stone.  It will melt fast.  Swirl it around to get melted butter all over the bottom and up the sides of the stone.

Place the mashed potatoes in the stone.  They will sizzle.  Spread them out.  Top with 1/2 cup cheese, the sausage, onions, mushrooms and spinach.  Top with another cup of cheese (or more, as much as you have...)

Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, until cheese is melty and the edges of the potatoes are turning golden brown.

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