Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mexican Pizza (a la Taco Bell)

I think I have documented my love for Pinterest. If you don't have an account, you are truly missing out on an amazing time suck. But I justify the time I spend playing on the site with the fact that I actually try a lot of the things I find there.

Case in point: last night's dinner. We had already settled on Taco Night. But, while playing on Pinterest, I found this:

Mexican Pizza. Now, how did we never think of this? It's slightly infuriating.  I mean, we eat Taco Bell mexican pizzas like it's our job. Our pizza wound up being slightly different than the one at Honey, What's Cooking?, but it was delicious nonetheless.

-Tortillas (2 per pizza)
-Canola Oil (very small amount; just enough to cover both sides of tortilla)
-Water (1/4 cup)
-Onion (small)
-Refried  Beans (whichever brand you like; 1 pound can)
-Scallions, Tomatoes, Black Olives (whatever you like)
-Ground Beef (1/2 pound)
-Taco Seasoning (again, whichever brand you like)
-Mexican Cheese Blend (enough to cover pizzas)
-Salsa (whichever one you like)
-Sour Cream (optional)

(1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
(2) Lightly brush both sides of 2 tortillas with canola oil.
(3) Place on foil lined tray and put in oven for 10 minutes -- 5 minutes on each side. If you have room, you can cook more than 2 at a time, but we don't, so we didn't. Also, I would highly suggest setting a timer. Five minutes is pretty fast when you're trying to do 10 things in the kitchen.
(4) While the tortillas are cooking, heat up the beans. Empty can into pot with 1/4 cup of water and cook over low heat. The water makes the beans (a) easier to cook; (b) creamier; and (c) easier to spread on the tortilla. Just do it.
(5) Chop the onion. If everyone you are feeding likes onions, then put them in the beans. If not (like our house), just leave them on the side.
(6) Chop whatever other vegetables you want (scallions, tomatoes, black olives, etc.).
(7) Cook ground beef and follow directions of taco seasoning packet. The other recipe wants you to add the seasoning to the beans, but that recipe is meat-free. We just added the taco seasoning to the meat and that added enough flavor.
(8) Take tortillas out of oven, but do not turn oven off. They will be really crispy. Ours managed to get a bunch of bubbles in them, so I just poked the bubbles with a fork and that flattened them back out.
(9) Spread the beans on one of the tortillas. Put some ground beef on top of that. The other recipe says to put a thin layer of salsa on top of the beans, but I opted not to do this.

(10) Then, place the second tortilla on top. Spread salsa in a thin layer and then cover with vegetables (onions, scallions, tomatoes, olives) and cheese.  See:

(11)  Place back in the oven. The other recipe said to cook for 12 minutes, but I found that the tortilla started to burn after about 5 minutes. Just watch it and try to leave the pizza in long enough to melt the cheese, but take it out before it burns (obviously).

We added Taco Bell mild sauce, sour cream, and guacamole and then enjoyed. A lot.

Just as an added tip, if you want to put salsa on your pizza, I would suggest making it. Most store-bought salsas are too chunky for my liking and about a year ago, Brandi and I decided to try to make salsa that had a consistency closer to that of restaurant salsa. Mission overwhelmingly accomplished. And it couldn't be easier.

Concord Foods Salsa Seasoning Mix (in whatever kind you like - both the mild and hot are good). All you do is add 2 cans of diced tomatoes (do yourself a favor and make sure you don't use the ones with basil or garlic or anything else Italian in it. You'll wind up with salsa that tastes like spaghetti sauce). The recipe calls for an onion, but we use scallions. Dump all of this in the food processor and blend. But pay attention and don't liquefy (another mistake we made that I hope you avoid). Delicious. And it lasts for a while, too.

The moral of this recipe? Pinterest makes me seem like the kind of person who comes up with mexican pizza recipes.

This recipe just illustrates this sentiment beautifully:

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