Friday, June 28, 2013

Nifty Pizza #18 - Louisiana!

Creating a pizza around a state that we have never been to is always a daunting task.  After the great success of our home state pizza (Kentucky), we felt as if we weren't qualified to create a pie centered around the delicious Cajun influences found in Louisiana. We tried a few different ideas, including a pizza based on a muffuletta sandwich, but something was always missing!  Luckily, KT was home for a little while before going off on her next big adventure, so we had time to brainstorm.

As you can see, we like to brainstorm with margaritas.  Then it hit us...a pizza based off of possibly the most famous and well loved dish to come out of Louisiana.  Jambalaya!!

Jambalaya is a rice dish containing the "trinity" of celery, peppers, and onions.  It usually contains andouille sausage and tomatoes, combining together to create a spicy taste sensation. If we simply replaced the rice with a delicious, fluffy, home made crust, we decided we would have quite a delectable pizza on our hands. 

Nifty Pizza #18 - Louisiana

Dough for 1 Pizza Crust
Pizza Sauce
Louisiana Hot Sauce
Celery, chopped
Onion, chopped,
Bell Peppers, chopped
Creole Seasonings 
Vegan Andouille Sausage, sliced
Vegan Cheddar Style Cheese Shreds
Fresh Parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
2. Prepare your pizza sauce.  Mix standard tomato based sauce with about 5-10 drops of Louisiana hot sauce (depending on how spicy you want your slice!).
3. Prepare your trinity of vegetables.  Place the celery, onions, and peppers into a skillet and sautee with the creole seasoning.  After they have had a chance to cook, add your sliced vegan sausage.  

4. Now you're ready to assemble your pie!  Spread your spicy Southern sauce over your crust, followed by the cooked veggies and sausage. 

5. Top with a generous helping of vegan cheddar style cheese, and garnish with fresh parsley. 

6. Bake for 10 minutes on the center rack, and 10 minutes on the bottom rack of your oven. This is our secret for the perfect crust - soft and doughy, yet just the right amount of crispiness on the bottom. 
7. Let the pizza cool, trust us you'll want to.  It's hot enough without the added degrees straight out of the oven! Then slice, plate, and party like you're in New Orleans!

We've made a LOT of pizzas in our kitchen, but this definitely ranks as one of the best.  It was perfectly spicy and flavorful, and felt like a Mardi Gras celebration in our mouths.  The heat from the hot sauce and seasonings brought to mind the long, balmy afternoons that are abundant down south in Louisiana.  

KT has once again left (and packed 2 slices of this amazing pizza in her ukulele case.  Don't worry, the security guards had a good laugh about that one), but thankfully we had an amazing week together full of family, friends, and most importantly...PIZZA!!

Peace, Love, and Beads,
Pam and KT

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Best of Both Worlds - Peach Rhubarb Pie

It's a time of great change around here.  KT has packed up her life in Minnesota, and will soon be making her way down to Florida for her next job, performing in her all time favorite musical, "Spring Awakening".  It's all very exciting.  One might even say a dream come true!  Thankfully, before she sets off for her new destination, we have time to do our most beloved activity...create in the kitchen!!

In the spirit of transition, we decided to make a pie (because everybody LOVES PIE) that incorporated something reminiscent of where KT had been and where she is about to go.  To evoke the southern sunshine we sliced up some juicy peaches, and for the Lanesboro portion, well...there was really only one option...


As you know, rhubarb has become very near and dear to KT's heart while living in Lanesboro.  She has baked MANY a rhubarb pie in the past 15 months, and has attended 2 festivals devoted to everything rhubarb. 

But before this turns into KT's inner monologue...ON TO THE PIE.

Peach Rhubarb Pie

For the crust:
2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Salt
2/3 cup Vegan Shortening
5 to 7 Tbsp Cold Water

For the filling:
2 cups Rhubarb, chopped
3 cups Peaches, chopped
1 tsp Ginger, grated
1 and 2/3 cups Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
Dash of Salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Mix together flour and salt, then cut in shortening.
3. Sprinkle in water as necessary, and toss with a fork.
4. Roll out two crusts.  If you choose to make a lattice crust like we did, go ahead and cut the second crust into thin strips,
5. Mix together the filling and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Spoon mixture into bottom crust. Top with remaining crust.

6. Bake for 50 minutes.
7. Allow the delicious pie to cool, slice, scoop up some vegan vanilla ice cream, and enjoy!!

These last 15 months have been amazing, and the next chapter will be equally so.  No matter where life takes either one of us, it is comforting to know that we can always bake a pie.

Peace, Love, and the Galesburg vortex,
Pam and KT