Giant pot pie or legit pizza pie? You decide.

November 29th, 2013 6:00 pm by Kelly Garbato

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I’ve been feeling bummed about the holidays, so Shane volunteered to make Thanksgiving dinner this year. All by his little lonesome! And to sweeten the deal, he made it a Thanksgiving pizza. (Back off vegans, he’s mine!)

This year’s pie was a lot like 2011’s masterpiece, but with one crucial difference: Shane added a top crust, thus doubling the carb count. The result was kind of like a giant pot pie..or an honest-to-goodness pizza “pie.” He also stuffed it with mashed potatoes (I swear the layer was nearly an inch thick!), stuffing, Tofurky (slices AND Kielbasa; a weird choice, but I’m not complaining), and gravy, with extra gravy to garnish. Basically I ate my weight in gravy, is what I’m saying.

We weren’t sure what to expect – would the bottom crust cook all the way through, or simply collapse under the weight of all that deliciousness? would the gravy leak? would our oven implode from the sheer awesomeness of it all? – but the end result was bitchin’. Seriously, this is one good pizza. I might even like it better than the naked, one-crust version – but not if I’m the one making it. That top crust is tricky, yo! You’ll need two pairs of hands and a giant spatula to pick it up.

Shane mostly winged it, but here’s a basic recipe for you to follow, if you’d like to try it for your own bad self. Feel free to swap out any of the “side” recipes (mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy) for your own favorite version. Each recipe makes a big batch, so you WILL have leftovers. Better to have a little extra than not enough, though, am I right?

Pro tip: You can make some of the items a day beforehand, so pizza assembly goes more quickly. BUT the mashed potatoes and gravy are easiest to spread/drizzle when a little warm, so if you’re using leftovers, you should reheat them a bit first. You don’t want them hot, though, since they can compromise the integrity of the crust. Room temp or slightly warmer is best.

Also, one caveat: I have zero idea how easy this is to cut without a Pizza Press. My guess is, not very. Consider yourself warned!

 

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Vegan Thanksgiving Pizza Pie

Ingredients

…for the Stuff It! Stuffing for Fussy Vegan Eaters

6 cups of whole wheat bread, diced
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons of margarine
1 medium onion, diced
3 large carrots, diced
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 cup parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

…for the Garlicky Mashed Potatoes

4 large or 6 medium/small potatoes
1/2 to 1 cup of water or soy milk
8 tablespoons of margarine
2 tablespoons of garlic powder

…for the Fluffy White Pizza Crust

(These ingredients make one batch of dough. Since this pizza has double the crust, you’ll need to double the ingredients below and repeat step #7 to make two balls of dough.)

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

…for Shane’s On-the-Fly Gravy

(Slightly adapted from the Vegetarian Gravy at allrecipes.)

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (plus extra as needed)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

…miscellaneous

1 Tofurky Kielbasa link (optional)
1 1/2 packages Oven-Roasted Tofurky slices
Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan

 

Directions

1. Begin by making the stuffing: Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread the diced bread out onto one or two large cookie sheets and lightly “spritz” them with Pam or a similar cooking spray. Cook in the oven for 30 to 60 minutes, or until they’re moderately toasted and dried out. Set aside until ready for use. (This step can be done the night before or morning of, to free up some time!)

2. When you’re ready to make the stuffing, heat the margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced onions and carrots and sautee until the onions are translucent.

3. In a 9″x13″ baking pan, combine the toasted bread with the onions and carrots, as well as the herbs, parsley and salt; mix well. Carefully drizzle the vegetable broth on top and toss gently to mix.

4. Bake, uncovered, at 350F for 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Next, make the mashed potatoes: Fill a medium/large pot about 3/4 full with water and heat on high until boiling. As the water’s heating, wash and peel the potatoes. Dice them into large chunks – about 1/4 to 1/8 of their original size – and then carefully transfer them into the boiling water. Cook on high until the potatoes are tender. Drain the water, saving some if possible.

6. In a large pot or mixing bowl, mash the potatoes as best you can using a hand masher. Add the starchy leftover water or soy milk a little at a time, working toward the desired mashed potato consistency. Toss in the margarine and garlic powder and mix well. If necessary, switch to a hand mixer to finish the job. Set aside to cool to room temp.

7. Now, prepare the dough: stir the water, sugar and yeast together until dissolved. Add the olive oil and salt, as well as any extra spices or seasonings. Stir in the flour until blended. Form the dough into a small ball and let rest in large bowl, covered loosely with a towel, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. Repeat this process to make the top crust.

8. When the dough’s nearly risen, make the gravy: In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil on medium. Add the garlic and sautee until the garlic becomes golden and fragrant (about five minutes). Stir in the flour, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce to form a smooth paste. Gradually whisk in the broth. Add the spices and season to taste. Bring the gravy to a boil, and then immediately reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about ten minutes, stirring constantly, until the gravy reaches the desired thickness. Remove from heat and all to cool.

9. When you’re ready to assemble and bake your pizza, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

10. As the oven’s heating, spread a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly.

11. Spread a layer of mashed potatoes on to the crust, about a half an inch thick.

12. Cut the Kielbasa into large 1/2″ chunks and place them on top of the mashed potatoes, pressing down gently.

13. Assemble the Tofurky slices into stacks of about six slices each, and then cut them into large 1/2″ chunks. Put these chunks on top of the mashed potatoes as well, again pressing down gently as you do so.

(Note: You can also leave the slices intact, but these large pieces can make the pizza slices a bit more difficult to eat.)

14. Drizzle some gravy (about a cup) on top of the mashed potato/meat mix.

15. Spread the stuffing on top of the whole shebang. (You don’t have to use all of it; we had about 25% of the pan left when all was said and done.) Finish up by drizzling another cup or so of gravy on top of the stuffing.

16. Finally, make your top crust. Spread a few tablespoons of flour onto your work area, and pat the dough out, spreading it evenly and making a circular shape a few inches larger than your pizza stone.

16. When done, transfer the second crust onto the top of the pizza, making sure that there’s enough overlap to join the two crusts together at the side. Pat the sides together until sealed.

17. Bake on the center rack for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. You don’t have to worry about the insides as much, since most of the foodstuffs have already been baked.

18. Serve warm, topped with more gravy or cranberry sauce.

 

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