Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Try Something New Tuesdays

Well, I am trying something new this summer. In order to make my meal planning more organized (and fun), I've been working on coming up with "theme nights". So far, we've only got two. Mondays are Men's Choice and Tuesdays are Try Something New. If you've got other suggestions, I would love to hear them (and don't worry, they don't have to be alliterations).

So, for our first Try Something New Tuesday we had Taco Pizza (new), Guacamole & chips (not new, but very delicious...and prepared almost entirely by my 11-year old), Cantaloupe and Blueberry Lemonade Slushie (new).

I highly recommend giving this pizza a try. It was good! Even my bean-hating child really liked it. (I tried to be sneaky and sent him out to mow while I was assembling the pizza. I really didn't want him to see the beans ahead of time. Alas, nothing gets by him. He came in and said, "Yeah, I saw the beans". Nevertheless, it was a good night...no attitude and he scarfed it right up. And didn't even object when I said I would be making it again. That's big, people.)

Read through the whole recipe in order to see some of my suggestions.

Taco Pizza
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
1 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
1-½ cup Warm Water
Scant TB honey
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
⅓ cups Olive Oil
1 can (14 Ounce) Black Beans
1 teaspoon Taco Seasoning (prepared, Or Make Your Own - we used this recipe)
4 whole Corn Tortillas, Sliced Into Thin Strips
½ cups Canola Oil, For Frying
1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar
1 cup Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
1 head Green Leaf Lettuce, Sliced/shredded Thin
2 whole Ripe Tomatoes, Diced
½ cups Cilantro Leaves
¼ cups Sour Cream
2 Tablespoons Hot Sauce (or more to taste)

Make the pizza dough: Mix yeast with warm water and honey and set aside for 8 to 10 minutes. Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir to combine. Stir in olive oil. Knead briefly and place in oiled mixing bowl. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours.

Pour black beans into a saucepan. Add seasonings to taste and heat up beans over medium-low heat. Use a potato masher to mash the beans to desired texture. Continue cooking/heating beans over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until no longer runny (should be the texture of refried beans.) Set aside. (I cooked too much liquid out of my beans...they will firm up some as the cool).

In a small skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. When hot enough to fry, drop in the tortilla strips in batches, frying quickly and removing from oil with a fork when crisp–about 30 to 45 seconds per batch. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside. (Do this step ahead of time)

Place oven rack in the bottom position in the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Remove half the pizza dough from the bowl. Place remaining half in a large plastic bag and refrigerate, saving for another use. With hands, spread pizza dough on an oiled baking sheet, making sure it’s relatively thin (I filled my half sheet pan almost completely). Spread layer of refried beans all over pizza crust. Sprinkle mixed grated cheeses over the top. Place pan in the oven (in the bottom half of the oven) and bake for 9 to 12 minutes. Watch it to make sure crust doesn’t burn.

Remove pizza from oven. Sprinkle on shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and cilantro leaves.

Mix together sour cream and hot sauce, adding enough hot sauce to make the mixture pourable. With a spoon (or you can put it in a pastry bag) drizzle mixture over finished pizza. (Do this ahead of time too...the mixing, and put it in the fridge).

Happy Eating!

PS - the leftovers might not be so good. Just go ahead and eat it all.

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