Archive for the ‘pizza’ Category
Dan and I were on our way home from work and I had nothing planned for dinner. Completely out of character, we decided to go to Jewel. I’ll admit that I have an aversion to normal (i.e., not Whole Foods) grocery stores–something about the two aisles containing nothing but chips and soda–but I’m really against Jewel. It always smells funny. It probably comes from years of living in Wicker Park, home to Junkyard Jewel, which is a truly disgusting place. Plus, the lines are always super long. But at the Jewel I ended up, on a search for something to use as a pizza crust. I knew there wouldn’t likely be anything actually pizza-crust-like to be had, but I thought I’d at least find pita bread. Nope. No pita bread in the whole store. After walking up and down the “natural foods” aisle (gee, that’s a lot of cereal and soy milk) six or seven times, I spied some refried black beans (thank you, Amy), and the Mexican pizza was born. Another search turned up some flour tortillas with fewer than twenty ingredients–as well as a pile of super moldy tortillas. Yum. After an incredibly long wait in line, it was home to assemble the suckers. And you might look at this creation and say, “That looks like a tostada.” Yes, it does look like a tostada, but we wanted pizza, so it’s pizza. Refried black beans between two flour tortillas, topped with melted Teese, olives, red and yellow peppers, avocado, mango, and a lot of Cholula and baked until crispy and melty. Sure, it didn’t quite satisfy the pizza craving, but it was still pretty incredible. How can anything topped with avocado and mango be anything less?
I’ve been lucky enough to be a guinea pig for Teese Vegan Cheese, and I think I’ve probably blown through at least five pounds already. Of course, I’ve had help eating it, but I have been more full of cheese lately than even in my life. It’s super melty (just look at that cheese toast above!), doesn’t mold in the refrigerator after two days like some other vegan cheeses (in fact, I’ve had some in the fridge for weeks now that’s still good), and tastes great (even though my cheese memories are about thirteen years old now, it tastes like what I think cheese should taste like). But the best part? It holds all the toppings on a pizza! The one thing that has always irritated me about vegan pizza is when you bite in and half the toppings slide off onto your plate (maybe my love of way too much sauce has a little bit to do with that too). So far pizza has been my main Teese use, but I’m still working on a gooey mac & cheese that I’ll post about soon.
The first Teese pizzas
I made the pizza-dough recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance, which is basically the same as every other pizza-dough recipe I consulted but with extra sugar and olive oil. The crust was perfect, and the pizzas were delicious, with peppers, mushrooms, and olives.
We picked up some dough from Whole Foods, which they keep in the refrigerator. This isn’t so great for when you want pizza NOW, as the dough is impossible to stretch. Plus, it turned out too chewy for my liking, but Dan loved it. Still tasty though. Peppers, mushrooms, onions, olives, and store-bought veggie pepperoni (which I usually pick off).
When in the possession of large quantities of melty cheese, it’s definitely time for a pizza party. I made the VwaV dough again, only this time I made it too early and let it rise for over an hour too long, which made the dough too soft and resulted in holes (there were also some oven sticking disasters, which are best never mentioned again). For one batch of dough, I replaced half of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour and added some agave nectar, and that batch turned out wonderfully, light and crispy and wheaty. The first pizza was my favorite: blanched red-skinned potatoes, roasted garlice, roasted asparagus, rosemary, and Teese. The combination was spectacular. I wish I’d made three more of the same.
This one was sort of hodgepodge (and not the prettiest pizza in its class). VwaV pizza sauce (DO NOT use canned tomatoes with added salt. It so super, super salty, and I even halved the salt called for), roasted garlic, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, olives, Teese.
Baked Seitan Pepperoni
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 cup water
4 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, grated
Combine wet ingredients in one bowl and dry another, then add wet to dry and knead for a few minutes until elastic and somewhat tight. Divide into two logs and wrap tightly in foil (be careful not to rip the foil, but try to get the logs as tight as possible). Bake for 90 minutes at 350.
We had tons left over from the pizza party, so Dan and I had pizza again a few nights later. I used Whole Foods dough again, but after it warmed up a bit it was (slightly) easier to work with. But I think the non-stretchiness worked well, because this was the absolute anti-minimalist pizza. It turned out thicker than deep dish, with the bottom of the dough nice and crispy and the inside super doughy. We piled everything on here. Pesto, roasted garlice, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, mushrooms olives, seitan pepperoni. It was pretty incredible.
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