Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nifty Pizza #15 - IOWA!

It's time for a Pizza that holds a very special place in our hearts...IOWA!
KT here: Before I moved to Southern Minnesota, I didn't even realize what a magical place Iowa is.  A few weeks into my stay in the Midwest, my good friend Gary took me on a drive to the magical land of Decorah, Iowa.  Since then, I travel there about once a week (don't worry, it's only about 45 minutes away, and with Carla in tow it feels like 5 minutes at most). I can't stay away! Who knew that in Iowa I would find Middle Earth (the hiking trails), a mecca for vegan goodness (the Oneota Co-op), my new favorite coffee shop (Magpie, of course!) and a best friend (I'm looking at you, Sarah).  Therefore, Iowa is now incredibly near and dear to I knew this particular pie had to be extra special. 
KT and Pam, praising the vegan paninis in Iowa!
We put our heads together and came up with something fantastic! The inspiration for this pizza comes from Iowa corn casserole - a potluck staple chocked full of creamed corn, bacon, onions, and bell peppers. What's more, Iowa is full of beautiful cornfields, which KT drives through on her way to Decorah every week. The sauce for the pizza is actually Roasted Corn Chowder (recipe below), which you could eat as is or turn into Iowa Corn Casserole! 3 different meals from the same recipe!
Nifty Pizza #15 - IOWA!
For the Roasted Corn Chowder
4-5 ears of Corn
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
2 ribs of Celery, sliced
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups Vegetable Stock
1 cup Unsweetened Soy Milk
Salt and Pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 
2. Pull back the husks of the corn and remove the corn silk.  Then bring the husks back up over the corn.  Place the ears of corn on a baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, turning a couple of times during the roasting process.
3. Remove corn from oven and let cool.  Remove the  husks and, using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cobs and collect in a bowl.  Set aside.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and celery, cover, and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).  Add the potato and stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender (about 25 minutes).  Uncover, add the corn, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
5. Remove from heat, ladle 2 cups of the soup into a food processor or blender, and process until smooth.  Stir the puree back into the chowder, add the soy milk, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Nifty Iowa Pizza
Dough for 1 Pizza Crust
2 cups of Roasted Corn Chowder
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 package of Tempeh Bacon, chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced
1/2 Yellow Onion, sliced
1/2 cup Corn Kernels
Vegan Cheddar Cheese (Daiya works best!)
Vegan Parmesean Cheese
Creshed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste.

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare pizza dough.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook to soften.  Then add in bacon and brown it slightly.  Lastly, add in green bell pepper and corn kernels.  Let everything cook just enough to caramalize slightly. 
3. Unless your chowder is particularly thick, give it a little drain so that your pizza crust doesn't become soggy.  Spread the chowder over the pizza dough.
4. Top with the slightly caramalized bacon and veggies. Sprkinle on the Daiya Cheddar and vegan parmesean.  Add a dusting of crushed red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning (if desired).
5. Bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack and 10 minutes on the bottom rack.
6. Remove from oven, slice, plate, and convince your mother to move to Decorah.

Peace, Love, and Water Street
Pam and KT

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