Taco Pizza

Hello from Costa Rica! I hope everyone is having a happy holiday. This Christmas was very non-traditional for me. Instead of spending time with my family, I decided to go away with my boyfriend and his family. Of course I missed having a morning at home – waking up a bit too early to snoop all the presents, and having a big breakfast with my family…but I really can’t complain. Costa Rica is beautiful. There are monkeys everywhere! It’s weird. They’re like little obnoxious people who steal your food. Cute little obnoxious people. I’ll do a post on this lovely place when I get back.

Before I left I made this wicked-good Taco Pizza. Another non-traditional pizza to go with this non-traditional holiday. I like patterns.

To make the pizza dough: Mix yeast with warm water and set aside for 8 to 10 minutes.

Mix flour, salt, and olive oil in a mixing bowl.

With speed on low, drizzle in yeast/water mixture. Allow to mix until totally combined.

Cover bowl with a towel and set bowl in a warm, draft-free place.

Allow to rise for 1 to 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.

Fry up your tortilla chips (no picture for this).

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. 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. Look at that cheesy goodness.

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.

Slice it up and enjoy!

Taco Pizza
Makes 1 pizza
Recipe taken from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
1-½ cup Warm Water
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)
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
3 Tablespoons Hot Sauce (more To Taste)

Directions:
Make the pizza dough: Mix yeast with warm water and set aside for 8 to 10 minutes. Mix flour, salt, and olive oil in a mixing bowl. With speed on low, drizzle in yeast/water mixture. Allow to mix until totally combined. Cover bowl with a towel and set bowl in a warm, draft-free place. Allow to rise for 1 to 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.
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.

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. 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.

Sprinkle with tortilla strips. Cut into squares and serve immediately with good quality salsa.

The Best Pizza Dough

I can’t believe I used to buy frozen pizza dough. It was always alright tasting, and could still generate the “homemade” title, but it wasn’t the best…and I wanted the best.

Everyone has a favorite pizza dough recipe, and I’ve been hunting for it forever. I recently purchased The New Best Recipe cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen, and am proud to say the best pizza dough recipe is in it! FINALLY!

To me dough has to be easy to shape and stretch thin, and the crust has to be crisp and chewy when baked. I’m picky. So, make pizza tonight, and be happy. My actual pizza recipe is coming soon!

Pizza Dough
By America’s Test Kitchen
Makes enough for 4 medium pizzas

Ingredients:
1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 envelope (2 1/2 tsp) instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface and hands
1 1/2 tsp salt
Olive oil for oiling the bowl

Directions:
1. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
2. Combine the salt and half the flour in a deep bowl. Add the liquid ingredients and use a wooden spoon to combine. Add the remaining flour, stirring until a cohesive mass forms.
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 7 to 8 minutes, using a little dusting flour as possible while kneading.
4. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.
5. Press the dough to deflate and add your sauce and toppings!