Vegan Buffalo Chicken "Potato" Pizza (Winter Food for Snowy Days, Blog Changes and. . . Veggie Seeds Now Sprouting!)
When my hot sauce cravings call, I try to answer. I found myself facing a dinner crisis yesterday afternoon. I'd been fiddling around with my blog all morning. Here it was now three in the afternoon already: what's for dinner?! Husband's favorite pizza is Jim Lahey's Pizza Patate. Anytime I ask, what kind of pizza he'd like? Pizza Patate! is nearly always the answer. I admit my admiration for this pizza as well, but the challenge for me as the cook and overall "health keeper of the house" has always been what to serve with this pizza. (Potatoes on dough does not a dinner make. To my mind, at least.) A nice salad usually suffices. But this time, I wanted to go bigger with bold flavor, but not so bold as to require a third or more a cup of hot sauce! My dilemma was solved with creating a roux for the hot sauce thereby using less of it, while not sacrificing any of the Buffalo flavor.
A quick update about my blog. I've eliminated the "followers" button. I have several reasons for this. Namely, I don't like it. Read. Don't read. It's a personal choice. I have blogs I enjoy reading and I've never, ever "followed" any of them. Mostly this has to do with my propensity to be an introvert. Someone blogging declaring themselves an introvert should come as no surprise. They tend to go hand in hand. I'd like to thank PicMonkey.com for helping me create my new banner. And, I'd like to thank the blogger, Karen at Sew Many Ways for posting a tutorial on how to go about creating said new banner via PM. I love my new banner! I'm coming up on my fourth year of blogging. It was time for some housekeeping blog chores. So that's what I spent most of yesterday doing. Blog chores. I'm happy with the changes.
It has snowed all week. No complaints here.
I'll take a month of snow days in place of any July and its 120 degrees. Blech. I am so not a summer person. Boo-hiss summer. (Except for the veggie growing part.) Hooray winter! It's all cozy inside. I've been knitting and crocheting quite a bit. Oh, and then there's the seed starting-palooza I had last weekend. Sort of early. But I remember how quickly things heated up last spring. We had seventy degree days last February. This year not so much. Which is as it should be. After all, it IS winter. But in keeping with my lunar planting guide--I wanted to get veggies that produced fruit/flowers above ground planted before the full moon last week. If you didn't get your seeds planted as the moon waxed full--have no fear, you have another waxing moon coming up in March (after the new moon has passed), which would be perfect for starting seeds then. *If this all sounds crazy--I swear by moon planting, Google it for yourself. Meantime, I'll spare you the lecture about lunar planting.
I went with flats for several of my crops. I planted basil, cabbage, broccoli and kale in this manner. The tomatoes were planted in 4" containers. (This will save me from having to do two transplants of the seedlings once they emerge. The tomatoes especially need to develop really good root systems before being moved into larger pots before placing in the ground come May.)
Surprise! My kale seeds have already sprouted! That might have something to do with the temperature in the basement. Kale likes it cool.
Lahey's pizza patate recipe (linked above) is quite easy to whip up. I had two hours before dinner--this allowed plenty of time for prep. The topping consists of thinly sliced Yukon Gold potatoes (three large or four medium)--placed in a large bowl, covered with water, then adding a teaspoon of salt and allowing them to sit for an hour. Drain the potatoes. Then toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil one onion chopped. Add rosemary, basil, and fresh ground pepper, toss to coat.
*For the dough: I substituted 1/3 of the bread flour amount with whole wheat flour for my dough--then added about a tablespoon or two extra of water to hydrate it a bit more. My whole wheat addition made a stiffer dough. After sitting on top of the fridge covered for two hours, and after the gluten developed, the dough was perfect and ready for the sheet pan. It baked up thin and crisp--exactly what you'd want for this recipe.
So for the good part: Vegan Buffalo Chicken. Chop up the veggies. For the "chicken" part, I used Gardein--so I had two patties cooked up and then set those aside in a bowl. Saute the veggies with a teaspoon or two of olive oil for about ten minutes. Season them up with some oregano, minced garlic and other herbs you'd like. Place in a bowl, set aside and prep the sauce next.
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of flour with 1/3 cup of warm water and set aside. Next, melt 3 tablespoons Earth Balance in a pan over medium heat--not too hot.
After the butter has melted, add a tablespoon of the flour/water mixture along with 2 tablespoons hot sauce. (We use Frank's.) Then, measure out about 2 cups of veggie broth into a small sauce pan. Warm it for a few moments if it's been in the fridge. *You don't want to add cold veggie broth or the mixture will separate and be icky.
Slowly whisk the flour/hot sauce mixture, adding a bit of veggie broth--about a quarter cup at a time--whisking the mixture to keep lumps from forming. (A few lumps are okay). Once you have about two cups of the hot sauce mixture prepared and thickened (it will thicken as it is heated--but keep and eye on it)--try not to slurp it all up while you're making it! Remove from heat and allow this to cool for about 5 minutes.
Pour hot sauce over the veggies and vegan chicken mixture. Toss to coat. *At this point you could add a dash or two of red wine vinegar to the mixture.
Prepare your dough and have the oven preheated per dough making directions.
Spread the potatoes over the dough. Bake. Remove from oven. Slice up and serve each piece topped with some of the yummy buffalo mixture. A bit on top of each piece of pizza was perfect.