Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vegan Sausage and Spinach Deep Dish Pizza

I've missed my wife and daughter, who left for a visit to India on November 1. They return tomorrow and are in fact enroute in the air (it's about 15 1/2 hours from Mumbai to Newark, where they connect). I know that my wife doesn't particularly like the deep-dish Vicolo cornmeal crust pizza shell, but I love it! I used it as the base of dinner tonight.

I simply sauteed a chopped link of Field Roast Grain Meat Company apple-sage vegan sausage, along with a little onion. When the sausage was lightly browned, I added a little orange bell pepper and a dozen or so baby spinach leaves. I cooked another minute or so, then stirred in homemade pesto sauce. I removed from the pan and mixed all the ingredients into a new sauce I recently discovered, made reasonably locally in the North Carolina mountains, Chef Ricardo's Mucho Macho (has a little spicy heat to it).

I spread the sauce over the pizza crust and baked it at 375°F, after topping with Daiya vegan cheddar and mozzarella style "cheese", till the cheese was nicely melted and the crust a bit crispy, maybe 8 minutes. I served it with some sections of an heirloom yellow tomato. Yum!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hakurei Turnip Salad with Orange Chile Mustard Vinaigrette and Spinach-Seitan Saute, served Ethiopian-style with Injera

Yesterday, in our "online farmers' market", Papa Spud's, we received Hakurei Turnips. I had ordered this when I saw its availability and, not knowing what it is, found a good article from about a year ago, Hakurei Turnips From Top to Bottom. The article describes this as also being called Salad Turnip. The greens and root (it looks a bit like a radish with a round, white root) ae both edible raw or cooked. The article says, "given the slightly nutty, peppery taste and the crisp texture of the Harukei turnip, they are best prepared with a light touch."

On my way home from class tonight, I stopped by a favorite Ethiopian restaurant, Queen of Sheba, to pick up a gift certificate for our Thanksgiving raffle. The owner, a friend of mine, had some freshly made injera (the tasty sour bread made from teff) that is so tasty - it's used to scoop up food, as Ethiopian food traditionally is eaten by hand. I asked if I could buy a piece or two, and she gladly offered the bread, but stubbornly refused to take any money! I had the vision of making a dinner and serving it with the injera so that dinner could be eaten by hand, Ethiopian style.

I ended up following the recipe in the turnip article for a salad, using sweet orange chile mustard instead of Dijon mustard, garlic chives instead of scallions, huge organic cherry tomatoes instead of Sungold ones, no salt or pepper, and much less oil and must less oil and mustard then called for. Essentially, I cut 2 turnip roots into thick discs maybe 1/4" thick, and cut the greens into maybe 1" pieces. I cut 3 or 4 tomatoes into quarters or fifths, and tossed the turnips with a half dozen or so garlic chives, cut into 1/2" pieces; a tablespoonful of olive oil; a dab of mustard; several tablespoonfuls of vinegar-based hot sauce (instead of white wine vinegar); and the tomatoes. (I tried the turnip while I was cooking - it was soft and tasty, almost like a mild, soft radish.)

I also sauteed some seitan with spinach, adding, and then a few minutes later discarding, cut jalapeno to the saute. As the spinach cooked down and wilted, I added a little ginger and a little garlic chives. Just before serving, I tossed in maybe half a teaspoon of cumin seeds, stirred, and removed from heat after another half minute or so. I served the seitan and salad with a piece of injera. It was all yummy!

I had thought I'd be making dishes I particularly like and not worry about not duplicating meals while my wife and daughter are visiting India (Nov. 1-18), but I guess not! I'll have to make this meal, or something close to it, for my wief when she returns! I hope that I'll be able to find this Hakurei Turnip again - it's a good find!