Country sausage and chow-chow flat bread

In the mid-1700s the Acadians began their march from Nova Scotia to Louisiana, where they eventually became known as Cajuns. Fortunately, they made a pit stop in Appalachia and left chow-chow behind. Mountain families embraced the chow-chow and made it their own. Up and down the Appalachian range and throughout the South, it’s not a meal unless chow-chow is on the table.

Chow-chow (or chou chou in French) is a happy marriage of the cabbage so prevalent in Southern mountain regions with green tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, vinegar, sugar and spices. There are countless recipes for this delectable relish – some very sweet, some very hot. Traditionally, chow-chow makes its showiest appearance when applied to a bowl of pinto beans or collards.

Because of its complex sweet and spicy nature, chow-chow is also a great topping for pizzas or flat breads. Chow-chow has a lot of ingredients so you don’t need much else to flavor the bread – just some country sausage and smoky Cheddar cheese.

If you are in those regions of the country not conversant with chow-chow, you can order some over the internet or you can substitute an onion/pepper relish that is commonly found on the supermarket shelves. But you owe it to yourself to order some real chow-chow and spread the love as well as the flat bread.


Country Sausage and Chow-Chow Flat Bread

1 16-ounce ball pizza dough

½ pound country sausage

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Chow-chow (or onion/pepper relish)

Cornmeal

Preheat the oven to its highest setting. If you have a pizza stone heat it in the oven for at least 20 minutes. If not, pull out a trusty cookie sheet and heat it in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Divide pizza dough in half and roll into long rectangles. Don’t fuss if they’re not perfect. That’s called “rustic” nowadays.

Fry the sausage until it is crumbly and well browned. And that does not mean fry it until it’s no longer pink. Well browned. Don’t make me come after you.

Spread a precious plenty of the chow-chow on the flat breads. Top with cheese and sausage.

Sprinkle the pizza stone or cookie sheet with cornmeal to prevent the flat breads from sticking. Transfer the flat breads to the oven and bake for about five minutes or until the crust is golden.


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