Tag Archives: Buffalo

Pizza Night!

KitchenSinkPizza

A savory tomato sauce based pizza

There’s a certain sense of accomplishment that comes with pulling a freshly baked homemade pizza out of the oven. Even though it may have taken much longer to put together and bake than it would to simply order a pizza from down the street, the satisfaction of creating yourself what you might pay twenty dollars (or more) for a pizza place to make for you is worth it. It’s just as much about the experience as it is about the pizza. And what better way to capture the homemade pizza feeling than with good friends. This is what’s known by some as the “pizza night”.

PestoPizza

Pesto – it’s green and awesome

To pull off a pizza night well, you need to have four foundational key ingredients: Good friends, an accommodating oven, beer, and – of course – pizza. If you feel like you’re up for the task of the advanced pizza night, you can add a playlist of your favorite music to augment the environment in whatever direction you choose – we chose to bring in a little bit of the 80’s. something about hair bands and pizza just feels right. If you want to go all the way and dial up your pizza night to eleven, you can do all the above while sporting an apron and toque.

BuffaloChickenPizza

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Pizza

But, as the point of a pizza night is ultimately the pie, let’s talk za. A good pizza starts with a good pizza dough. We made enough dough to create five pizzas (and by we, I mean my friend the baker). You can find all kinds of simple recipes online – like this one – but I’ve been told that the best pizza crust is made with a sourdough base, which is a bit more involved, from what I understand. After the crust, the rest is really open for interpretation. You could use all kinds of different sauces, such as pesto, Alfredo, garlic, sweet tomato, savory marinara, anything you can spread really. You could even use ketchup & mustard if you wanted, though I would urge you in the name foodies everywhere – please don’t. From this point forward, anything is fair game.  If you can eat it, you can put it on a pizza!

I’ll include ingredient lists for the five pizzas we created.  As always, if you’d like to join me and recreate the wonderment for yourself, you can find a recipe in the recipes section of the blog.

“Wise man say forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza.”

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The Art of Chili

First let me acknowledge that it’s been a while since I’ve posted, and for that, I apologize. I’ve had more life and less food happening lately. But it’s good. Lessons have been learned, growth has been achieved. What’s life without a few bumps right?

Anyhow, it’s been getting cooler around here lately, and so the other day, I decided to make a batch of chili. Truly one of the simplest meals to make, chili is an art form. Often times the best chili is impossible to reproduce, making every great chili one of a kind.

All one needs to make a memorable chili is a crockpot, some cumin, and enough ingredients to fill in the rest. Like I said, it’s not hard, and if you’re creative, you can make some interesting flavors, as you can make chili out of just about anything! I’ve been known at my company’s annual chili cook-off to make some of the tastiest chili in the line up.

I remember one year I made what I called White Fire Chili. It was a white chicken chili with plenty of jalapeños and black pepper. That was my first foray into the chili arena. Another year I made a Black Mango Chipotle Chili, for which I “roasted” my own peppers and garlic on a charcoal grill. I say “roasted” because I left them on for a bit to long, and my peppers were a more blackened than I had intended intended. But they still had plenty of heat! Combined with a couple mangos, it made for a delicious sweet and savory spice. Another year I made a Buffalo Chicken Chili. That was a good one! I even made my own Buffalo sauce. Fact: Buffalo sauce is almost half butter. A year later, I made a Spicy Chipotle Chili. I think that was by far the hottest chili I’ve made to date. I decided to outsource my chipotle peppers after my last attempt at roasting peppers, and with two cans of roasted chipotle peppers, a few habaneros, and plenty of garlic & cumin, it had a hefty kick, but it was so tasty the pain was well worth it!

sChiliThis time, the decision to make chili was a last minute one, and so I just used what I had on hand (with a little help from friend). I was making it for my church small group, so I couldn’t give it too much of a kick. It wasn’t my best chili, but it was still pretty good. It was simple enough that it may be reproducible. A simple tomato based chili with ground turkey, beans, and a few hot peppers to give it some tingle, it’s a lean but delicious concoction. I’ll drop a recipe in the recipes section of the blog. You can try it for yourself, or you can use my recipe as a launch pad to prefect your own one or a kind creation!

What is the best chili you’ve ever made or tasted? Drop a note in the comments below!

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Vegan Buffalo Wedges

I was out the other night with some friends at a local bar, playing a game of competitive trivia, when one of the guys that was with us came back after being gone for a little while with box full of Buffalo wings. My eyes got wide and my mouth started to water, but then almost instantly I was punched in the tastebuds when I reminded myself, I’m still doing this three week no meat no dairy, fruits and vegetables only diet.  But they’re Buffalo wings!  Right there in front of me!

But allas, Buffalo wings contain both meat, and dairy – Buffalo sauce is about half butter – and are usually fried. Three strikes. All I could do was stare longingly at my friend’s Buffalo wings as I sat in the bar with my cohort, drinking my cup of water. All the while my stomach is screaming at me ‘Why!? Why are you doing this to me!? WHY!?’

All that to say, since that night I’ve been craving Buffalo wings, but I’ve got two more weeks to go with this diet. Two more weeks in this meatless, cheeseless vegetable desert. It’ll be worth it though. I’ve done this before, and I know that at the end, I will feel so incredibly healthy. It will be good, even though I have to give up Buffalo wings for while.

Anyway, Fast forward a couple days to me lying in bed, and an idea pops into my brain. I’ll bet I can make a buffalo sauce without using butter. And I can’t have chicken, but I can have potatoes! So I determined myself to find a way to make vegan Buffalo potato wedges.

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And I did. Instead of using butter, what I ended up doing was using butter beans. If you’ve never seen these, they are large pale beans that, when they’re heated up, the insides become very squishy, almost like butter. They’ve got a very nice, almost creamy texture. So I boiled them in some water, mashed them with a fork, and strained out all the bean skins. What I was left with was a kind of sloppy, cream-like bean paste. Add a bit of vinegar, a good amount of Frank’s RedHot, and some seasoning and bring it to a simmer. Boom. Butter-less Buffalo sauce!  Add a green pepper and guac salad to go along with it. That’s a good lunch right there!

When it was all said and done, the sauce was more like a paste, but the flavor was dead on. I was craving Buffalo wings, but my alternative – vegan Buffalo potato wedges – kicked that cravings ass!

If you’d like to try your hand at this, you can find the recipe on the Recipes page.

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