Monday, May 2, 2011

Vine and Dine - Vegan Table Round 2 - South of the Border Pizza

I wish all of you would get in on this cook along. It is so fun! This week we took another delve into the Vegan Table. We planned on getting on this over the weekend, but we ended up going a-visiting and partying with friends most of the weekend. So we are a little late to the party. No matter. We did finally get it done.

This week we tried out the South of the Border Pizza recipe (pg. 295) with the cornmeal version of the Basic Pizza Dough (pg. 287). For those of you who follow my blog or my ramblings on the PPK, you know that yeast is my nemesis. Today was no exception. My first try the yeast just sat there dead as a door nail on my first try. Big surprise Haha. My second try it was meek, but alive. I had to let it rise the full two hours in a warm oven. That seemed to do the trick. 

The pizza toppings looked a bit simple and perhaps a bit boring to me. It called for one jalapeno for an entire 16 inch pizza. Seriously? That is laughable in the house of chile (aka our house). So of course I upped it to 3 BIG jalapenos. I also thought it would be great to grill them before slicing them. The recipe called for 2 cups of pinto beans. Well, a 15 oz can of beans is only 1 1/2 cups, so that's what we used. It would have been even better with the full two cups, but I didn't want to use a partial can. I used Daiya Mozz. I really want to try Teese on pizza one day soon, but WF doesn't carry it. I can only get it one place locally and I haven't done it recently. Maybe next shot. 

After baking I topped it with slices of avocado and drizzled it with sour cream. I thought about making my go to tomato salsa, but then I thought I'd try something different. Fred loves the heat, so I opted for a sexy, fiery roasted habanero-tomatillo number. (For those of you who are testing for me, I will be posting it to the test site tonight or tomorrow). I served this on the side so the pizza would not get soggy and we could decide how much we wanted.

OK, so the crust on this was super crisp. I really liked it. Making a 16" pie it was very thin and very awesome. This was an interesting combination. it was a nice contrast with the creamy, rich topping and the crunchy curst. I think the pizza on its own was a bit bland, but with the salsa it was much more complex and interesting. I thought about adding thinly sliced shallots but decided to try it without this time. Next time I'd add them for sure. Fred liked it, but commented he is a red sauce guy when it comes to pizza. I might try this again with a southwestern tomato sauce. All in all we liked, not loved this combo, but the crust! Oh the crust was yummy!

Tonight's pizza was very basic but yet somewhat healthy, I ate three big pieces and won't dream in color tonight. What was cool about it is that I could change the taste totally with the addition of salsa or red pepper. We chose a white wine that had a lot of light fruit tones, green apple, melon, lime, pear, etc. As a rule of thumb one should choose a wine that is as spicy as your food or sweet to compliment and offset the spiciness. Since the pizza's personality was so quickly changed with salsa and spices we thought a sweeter, fruit forwars wine would work the best, and it did! An organic, biodydamic, sulphite free, and vegan wine kicked some butt as an accompaniment and as a long sip at the end of the meal.  "Horse and Plow, Harvester White North Coast, 2009" tickled our tummy tonight in a good way. I would use this wine in a situation where one couldn't please everybody in a crowd and only had one bottle of wine left. It was light and fresh, great for summertime but yet has enough body to make people sip slowly.

**As a side note, Fred went to three different stores to try and find a vegan wine. This time he wasn't lucky enough to find someone who knew what vegan wine was. I went to Whole Foods and had a similar experience. The young gentleman in the wine department was super willing and helpful, but really didn't have any idea which wines were vegan. I had my droid, so I did pull up to determine if wines were vegan while I was there. I actually called a vineyard here in AZ because I thought it would be fun use a local wine, but the person I talked to at the vineyard had no idea what made a wine "not vegan".  We'll keep trying to learn and educate the locals. :)


  1. This was worth the wait! I'm with you, that crust is the thing that makes this pizza. I didn't know you had yeast challenges!

    I'm definitely going to try to find that wine. It sounds perfect for summer.

    Oh, and tonight I'm doing a southwestern lasagna- I had the same idea on the tomato sauce (Mexican), but using the chili pasta from Voluptuous. Can't wait!

  2. I do indeed have challenged with yeast. It is my not so secret shame. This morning I am having a great victory. I am attempting to make your burger buns for today's show. The yeast is bubbling away happily. Yay!!