Chef’s Corner #8 – Grilled Chicken Sausage Crostini

WP_20160630_12_03_11_Pro1

“Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another posting of Chef’s Corner. With the 4th of July weekend upon us, there is no better to celebrate than gathering the friends and firing up the grill. This week we will be using the Ancient Grain Pizza Crust as a base for a Grilled Chicken Crostini. You’ll be combining your favorite chicken sausage with a Fresh Herb Mustard, Grilled Vegetables, and Goat Cheese!

So call the family and friends over, break out the cutting board, sharpen up the knives and get busy! Have a great 4th of July everyone. Food is Life, Enjoy It!”

Your friend in the kitchen,

Chef Kent

Grilled Chicken Sausage Crostini

Ingredients:

Smart Flour Foods Ancient Grain Pizza Crust                                     2 each

*Fresh Herb Mustard                                                                               2 tablespoons

Chicken Sausage, links                                                                            1 pound

Goat Cheese, crumbled                                                                           1 cup

**Grilled Onion, Pepper & Fennel Salad                                            2 cups

Olive Oil (for brushing the crostini rounds

and chicken sausage)                                                                             1 cup

Kosher Salt                                                                                              1 tablespoon

Fresh Ground Black Pepper                                                                1 tablespoon

Procedure:

Chicken Sausage:

  1. Preheat the grill on medium.
  2. Lightly brush each link with olive oil and lightly season each with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  3. Place the links of sausage onto the grill and mark well on each side.
  4. Remove the links from the grill and allow to cool at room temperature.
  5. Once completely cooled, slice each link into ¼ inch pieces on a bias.

Crostini:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Using the 2 ½ inch biscuit cutter, cut seven rounds from each pizza crust.
  3. Place the cut rounds onto the baking sheet, lightly brush each round with olive oil and place inside the preheated oven and bake for 8 minutes.
  4. Once the 8 minutes has expired, remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the rounds to cool.

Crostini Assembly & Baking:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Arrange the pizza crust rounds evenly onto the baking sheet.
  3. Evenly top each round with a ½ teaspoon of the Fresh Herb Mustard.
  4. Place 2 slices of chicken sausage onto each of the rounds that have been topped with the Fresh Herb Mustard.
  5. Place 1 tablespoon of goat cheese per round on top of the sliced sausage.
  6. Top each round with 1 heaping tablespoon of the Grilled Onion, Pepper & Fennel Salad.
  7. Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the finished Crostini onto a serving tray.

Yield: Serves 4 to 5

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*Fresh Herb Mustard

Ingredients:

Dijon Mustard                                                                  ½ cup

Sherry Vinegar                                                                ½ teaspoon

Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed                                   1 teaspoon

Honey                                                                              1 teaspoon

Fresh Chives, thinly sliced                                          2 teaspoons

Fresh Tarragon Leaves, finely chopped                  1 teaspoon

Fresh Mint Leaves, finely chopped                          2 teaspoons

Kosher Salt                                                                    pinch, to taste

Fresh Ground Black Pepper                                      pinch, to taste

Procedure:

  1. Using the small mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients and mix well until fully incorporated.
  2. Transfer the finished mustard into an airtight container and hold refrigerated until needed.

Yield: ½ cup

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

**Grilled Onion, Pepper & Fennel Salad

Equipment List:

Cutting Board, medium size

Chefs’ Knife

Paring Knife

Mixing Bowl, medium sized

Mixing Bowl, small

Baking Sheet, medium

Measuring Spoons

Tongs, small

Ingredients:

Red Onion, medium size                                                  1 each

Red Bell Pepper, medium size                                        1 each

Yellow Bell Pepper, medium size                                   1 each

Fennel Bulb, small,                                                            2 each

Fresh Chives, thinly sliced                                               1 Tablespoon

Fresh Mint Leaves, finely chopped                               2 teaspoons

Italian Parsley, finely chopped                                      1 Tablespoon

Olive Oil                                                                             3 Tablespoons

Kosher Salt                                                                       ½ teaspoon

Fresh Ground Black Pepper                                         ½ teaspoon

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the grill on medium.
  2. Red Onion, using the Chefs’ knife, trims both ends of the red onion and discard.
  3. Using the paring knife, make a small cut the length of the onion and remove the first layer.
  4. Using the Chefs’ knife, slice the onion into ¼” rings.
  5. Remove any green (sprouted) area from the center of the slice, then separate into individual rings and place into the medium sized mixing bowl.
  6. Bell Peppers, once again using the Chefs’ knife trim the tops of the bell peppers off, exposing the seed pod and the white ribs of the pepper, place the trimmed tops into the mixing bowl.
  7. Using your fingers remove the seed pod from the pepper and discard.
  8. Slice each pepper in 1/4th’s lengthwise, making sure to make your cuts between the white ribs (this will make removing the ribs much easier).
  9. Using the small paring knife, trim out the white ribs from each piece of bell pepper and discard.
  10. Place the bell pepper pieces into the mixing bowl with the onion rings.
  11. Fennel Bulb, using the paring knife, trim away the stalks from the bulb.
  12. Slice the fennel bulbs in half lengthwise and add to the mixing bowl with the onion and peppers.
  13. Add 2 tablespoons of the grapeseed oil, kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and toss well until the vegetables are thoroughly coated with oil and seasoning.
  14. Place the onion rings and pepper pieces onto the hot grill making sure not to overlap any of the pieces.
  15. Grill while turning occasionally until the peppers and onions have taken on nice char marks and are tender to the touch.
  16. Remove the onions and peppers from the grill and place onto a baking sheet to cool.
  17. Place the fennel bulbs onto the grill, cut side down and mark well on both sides.
  18. Adjust the grill heat to low and continue to cook the fennel bulbs, while turning occasionally until tender.
  19. Remove the fennel bulbs from the grill and place onto the baking sheet to cool along with the onions and peppers.
  20. Using the Chefs’ knife, slice the grilled onions into 1-inch pieces and place into the small mixing bowl.
  21. Once again using the Chefs’ knife, slice the grilled peppers into ¼ “strips and place into the small mixing bowl.
  22. Using the paring knife, trim out the core of each fennel bulb, separate the bulbs layers and then using the chef’s knife slice each layer into 1/8 inch strips.
  23. Add the sliced fennel to the small mixing bowl along with the herbs and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  24. Gently toss the mixture together until thoroughly combined, taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary and hold refrigerated until needed.

Yield: 2 ¼ cups