Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Baked Antimeat TexMex Pizza!

I made a fast (well faster than usual) Mexican pizza when a family member complained about being bored with his everyday health food. Now, I have always made my pizza by frying tortillas, layering sauce, cheese, and vegetables, and then nuking in the microwave just enough to melt the cheese. Let me tell you, those are some seriously GOOD EATS. Yes, the nuking part does not sound so 'gourmet cook', but then again what about Tex-Mex food makes you think that anyway?

This time, after seeing a BAKED Mexican pizza at my Aunts house, and thinking it couldn't possibly be any good (I was wrong BTW), I tried my hand at it. I, the perpetually lazy bum, had no tortillas in the house. Rather than run out and get some, I made homemade. No, don't try and make sense of this, you'll just confuse yourselves. The recipe itself is quick and easy, especially if you have a tortilla maker at home.

2c flour
1ts salt
1ts baking powder

Mix these together.

1tb butter or shortening

Cut into your flour mixture, until it resembles crumbles of something or other (think pie).

1/2c H2O

Add into the above, until you get a dough, cut into 8 parts. Then let it rest until you want to use it, minimum 30 minutes. Roll out 1/8 of an inch thick, and cook in a hot pan until they are as you want them. That's right, the way you want them. For my recipe today, I needed tortillas very soft and pliable as I was going to bake them anyway. So to each his own, if you're not going to cook them further, let them develop little brown spots. If you are planning ahead and making extras, I'd suggest keeping them on the 'whiter' side for extra pliability. Homemade tortillas can get crunchy hard in the fridge!! HINT: As soon as I made each one, I popped them into a Ziploc and sealed it shut. It helped with the moisture. Gave me 8 pizza skins (tortillas).

RESULT: This tortilla recipe yielded soft tortillas.....until I baked them and sat down to eat. They were a bit on the chewy side. I guess it is because I kneaded the dough quite a bit (and you're not supposed to!). So learn from my lesson. I will try this recipe again to see if it was the kneading or the recipe itself.

After this, I chopped up a bell pepper, an onion, a can of black olives, and half a tomato. I shredded a blend of mozzarella with cheddar and a bit of pepper jack. I also made the beans in the microwave whilst doing all of the chopping.

For the beans,
I tore open three cans of kidney beans, drained & added
taco seasoning
dry oregano
garlic powder (liberal dose)
dry red flake pepper or crushed
dry basil
onion powder

All these seasonings were used with the "taste and shake" method. Shake a bit on, mix your beans and taste. Add more of the seasoning YOU find wanting in your dish. Simple! After this I nuked the beans for 5 minutes, and afterwards mashed them with a potato smasher/masher/musher/smusher?

Now the ending, I baked all the tortillas in my oven until they started to get crunchy. A piece fell off, into the flame grate and I inhaled massive amounts of buttery tortilla smoke. Anyway, spread the beans on the first layer, 2 TB of sauce or a smooth salsa (like chipotle), sprinkle some of your veggies, cheese, another tortilla, more cheese, and then finally some veggies again. Bake this until the cheese starts to bubble, 15 minutes and onwards at 350 degrees.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and a nice green salad to offset that cheese.

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