Sunday, May 1, 2016

Taco Pizza for a late night B-Movie

An activity I always enjoyed while growing up (I've mentioned this before) was watching cheap horror movies and eating pizza on a Saturday night. The room was lit only by the light of the television screen, everyone had a glass of Coke, napkins littered the coffee table next to paper plates, and there was usually popcorn or a bag or two of chips nearby. Back then the pizza involved a frozen pizza I doctored up with extra ingredients, unless someone was lucky enough to con their parents out of the cash to order one delivered. A great tradition I carried on as different friends came and went through the years.

Now as an adult who has, in a manner of speaking, revived this tradition with The Boss, I wanted to make a pizza from the bottom up. It's more fun, costs much less, tastes better, and is moderately healthier than delivery or frozen.

Since this was the weekend before Cinco de Mayo, it only made sense that I would make a Mexican themed pizza, and since I had all the ingredients on hand already, a Taco Pizza sounded like a good idea.

Like most cooks, I had a notion of what needed to be done but I thought I'd check my books and online as well. No one had anything quite like I envisioned, all though one book I own came close even though they used shrimp instead of taco seasoned meat, which inspired me to include both.

This particular time, due to my work schedule, I had to use a premade crust, but there's no shame in that. I put my trusty and well-loved pizza stone in the oven to preheated to 400 degrees. In the meantime, I browned the meat and seasoned it with the taco seasoning mix as per the directions on the package. I used an organic salsa lightly as a pizza sauce, then sprinkled a light layer of cheese on top of the salsa.

I threw in the shrimp with the meat at this point to make sure it got coated with the taco seasoning mix as well. I didn't throw them in earlier because they were deveined and I didn't want them to shrink. Once I felt they were coated adequately enough, I scooped out the meat/shrimp combo and spread it evenly over the pie. I added a can of diced chili peppers, a handful of jalepenos, and some black olives. Then I sprinkled just another very thin layer of cheese, just enough that it didn't hide any of the ingredients, and finished it off with a few pinches of cilantro. Once I placed it on the heated stone I only had to wait about 10-12 minutes.

Once you take it out, you can add shredded lettuce on top or sour creme if that's what you prefer, and you're ready to dig in. (Note: I took this picture right out of the over without the lettuce topping. Also, the crust looks a little more burnt than expected because I used a whole wheat crust.)

Ingredients
- pizza dough
- standard taco ingredients, i.e., meat, shrimp, chicken, chilies, cheese, etc. etc. (Note: one pound of ground beef can make at least two pizzas, if you're only making one, then you have extra beef to use for nachos later.)

Directions
- see above

I know these next few days I'm going to burn out The Boss on Mexican food, but I figured if I throw some gaucamole in the mix, she'll forgive me all my sins. <wink> After all, Love originates in the kitchen.

Until Next Time...
Watch this wonderful video on how to make Super Deluxe Steak Nachos. Great stuff, gang, great stuff.

Adios,
Michael