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Mexican meets Italian

April 27, 2005

Last night, Lindsay, Chad, and Andy came over for dinner and a movie. For dinner, I made Taco Pizza…my own creation that brings together my love for pizza with my Mexican roots. Or…Mexican-American roots. Okay, New Mexican roots. I served it with salad and steamed broccoli, plus hibiscus tea and Justin’s Southern sweet tea. (Which is just regular tea with tons of sugar in it.)

I think the thing that makes this pizza spectacular is the crust. I have stuck with this crust for a long time now, because it is so easy, and so good! (Any of you Homestar Runner fans? So Good!) You can top it with anything, including taco fixings. It’s also great with oven-roasted shiitake mushrooms and garlic, or tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, or marinara sauce and shredded cheese. I think pizza crust is a great place to start in making your own yeast breads. It only has to rise once, and has a fairly simple ingredient base. But if pizza crust seems daunting, just use a ready-made crust and the taco toppings–whatever floats your boat.

As for the movie, we walked over to our friend Jeremy’s place to watch Henry Fool on his HUGE…wall. He just bought a projector, and let me tell you, it rocks. The movie was thought-provoking and a little nuts, with one of those endings that makes you say, “Grrr…” At any rate, it was fun.

Taco Pizza

Crust

  • 7 ounces warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 2 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus a bit
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • Cooking spray

Toppings

  • 1 can vegetarian refried beans, heated in the microwave until spreadable
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Colby-jack cheese
  • 2 cups chopped lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Salsa (we like Leal’s, which we’ve only been able to find at Central Market)

For the crust: Place water and sugar or honey in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. When the liquid foams (after a few minutes), add the oil and salt. Stir in the flours, kneading the last in as the dough gets too stiff to stir. Turn dough out onto a flour-dusted surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, spray the top of the dough, cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 50 to 65 minutes.

For the pizza: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Punch down the dough and let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Roll out into a 12-inch circle and place on a pizza pan. Spread heated beans over the top of the dough, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until crust is lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Top with lettuce, tomato, and avocado, and slice into 10 pieces. Serve with salsa.

Makes 10 slices.

Source: Crust recipe from Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon, pizza recipe by Crystal

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