Fundraiser Event & Tortilla Soup

Family, Friends, and Fans of Dutch Lovin’,

I’ve been given the opportunity to lend my culinary skills to Austin Achieve Public Schools, a tuition-free, open enrollment public charter school preparing East Austin youth to attend and excel at top universities. In early November, they are hosting a fundraiser called “Maze”, an interactive event presenting culinary artists and mixologists from Austin. The event will include a maze, where visitors will navigate a series of rooms featuring a seven-course, bite-sized tasting. To learn more about tickets and sponsorships, please click here.

Maze

As a featured chef, I will be sharing my popular Tortilla Soup. This is an event you do not want to miss. Not only will your purchase of a ticket go to a great cause, but you will get to eat my Tortilla Soup, too. People have begged for this recipe and/or faked being sick just so I would make it for them. If you are one of the lucky ones, you have tried this hearty soup before. I am so excited to have the opportunity to give back to the Austin community and I hope to see your face there!

DL's Tortilla Soup

Photo Credit: Jerrid Williams

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

At the end of May, my boyfriend and I started the ketogenic diet. As a foodie, this is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. The keto diet is strictly high-fat/high-protein, but limits you on just about everything else, including vegetables. Oh, you like fruit? Too bad! No fruit for you, except maybe 2-3 strawberries a day. UGH! Regardless, this lifestyle change is working out. We have both seen significant and positive changes with our overall health. However, my cooking brain has had to shift gears in a major way.

Now, I want to talk (rant) about cauliflower. I hate cauliflower. In my opinion, it’s one of the worst vegetables in existence. Understandably, cauliflower is used as an impostor for pizza crust, “rice”, mashed “potatoes”, and the list goes on. From what I can recall, my most favorite cauliflower dishes have been the Gobi Manchurian from Asiana Indian Cuisine in South Austin and the Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Soup from Snack Bar on South Congress in Austin, and that’s about it. I have had cauliflower in many other forms, and most of the time, I just don’t like it at all.

I am not a fan of this particular crust, because I can still taste cauliflower. So, why am I even sharing this recipe? Well, I have a refined palate, one that is picky for taste. Just because I don’t like something, doesn’t mean that the next person is incapable of appreciating it. What this really comes down to is that I miss bread — I used to love making homemade pizza dough. Cauliflower does not have me fooled in the least bit.

I am sharing my version of this recipe because even the buzzfeed video for making cauliflower pizza crust doesn’t share the extra step that I take to make the crust. GET YOURSELF SOME CHEESECLOTH! <– This is the big secret!

The first couple of times I tried the cauliflower crust, there was too much moisture. On my first attempt, I steamed the cauliflower, then pulverized it in my ninja blender. The second time, I just blended the raw cauliflower and then put the recipe together. Both times, the crust did not crisp up, the bites were soft, and didn’t resemble a crispy pizza crust in the least bit. Needless to say, by the third time I tried this recipe, just adding in the cheesecloth method helped tremendously.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes + 10 minutes for final pizza

Makes: 2 Personal Pizza Crusts

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 3/4 cup shredded pizza blend cheese (Mozzarella, Asiago, Parmesan, and Smoked Provolone)
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. roasted garlic powder
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Break up the cauliflower and put the florets in a blender or food processor, pulverize into fine pieces.
  • Place the cauliflower in the center of the cheesecloth, bundle up the rest of the cloth around, and squeeze out as much moisture from the cauliflower as possible.
  • In a mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients and incorporate together.
  • On a large baking sheet with parchment paper (I use a silpat), divide the batter into two halves and place on the baking sheet into two flat circles.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, add your sauce and toppings and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

After 20 minutes of baking:

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After another 10 minutes of baking with the toppings on:

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