14 July 2012

Pistachio Pizza

First, let me say that I ripped this idea off completely from "The Bradley" at Epic Pizza and Subs in Soulard.  I had seen this article and lodged it somewhere in my memory.  I'm not in the habit of eating pizza for lunch, but one Saturday I had a craving on my way to play a wedding in Lafayette Square.  I was totally blown away by this pizza because it had the flavour and mouth feel of Italian sausage.  The secret - Pistachios and Rosemary.  These are helped along by sea salt and caramelized onions (always welcome in basically any dish) and heaps of Parmigiano Reggiano.  

Sometimes I regret ordering a pizza that doesn't have red sauce, but not this time.  Now I crave it fortnightly and have started to make it myself.  The only difference with mine is the whole wheat crust, which makes it a much sturdier slice.  Not better, just different.  I will take a better picture next time.

Shitake Black Bean Burgers

There has been a lot of talk about veggie burgers on facebook lately.  And my friend Ellery has been on the hunt for a mushroom burger.  I've experimented with burgers in the past and I've never been too impressed with the results.  Always mushy.  This incarnation was also mushy, but was lovely and crisp on the outside, and very cooperative to work with throughout the cooking process.  
I looked around at online recipes, and decided to make up my own.  I wanted to see if I could manage to keep in vegan (leave out eggs.)  And then it came to me!  Quinoa flakes!  I bought them on a whim with no plan for them whatsoever.  I made a breakfast porridge out of them that continued to thicken the more I stirred it.  So it seemed like they might make a good binder in a burger as well.  The problem is finding them.  I'm sure they can be made, but that seems pretty involved.  I've also had good success with tahini as a binder.  

I asked Kurt what he wanted on his.  His request: Jalepenos, Fried Egg, Cheddar Cheese
Since his was no longer vegan, I decided to keep mine vegan for contrast: Onion, Tomato, Avocado

Here is my made up recipe for you to tweak yourself.  Let me know your results and modifications!

15 large shitake mushrooms - diced
1 onion - diced
1 clove garlic - minced
1 carton black beans - drained, rinsed and semi - mashed
1 cup quinoa flakes
Smoked paprika cayenne and cumin to taste

Saute the mushrooms, onion and garlic until all the moisture is gone.  Mix with remaining ingredients until it forms a thick paste.  Form burgers to suit the size of your bun, place in between wax paper sheets, and place on cardboard or any sturdy surface.  Place in freezer for a couple of hours.  Remove from freezer and cook in a small amount of olive oil in a cast iron skillet until nicely browned on both sides.  Serve however you like it!