Mexican Pizza: My Most Brilliant Idea Yet?
A few weeks ago, I had this terrific idea: What would happen if I combined two of my favorite things, Mexican food and pizza? Would deliciousness result? Or would this be another ill-conceived notion that just doesn’t pan out outside of my head? Well, I am happy to report that this might be one of the most splendidly awesome things I have ever cooked and I had a very hard time not eating the whole entire pizza myself last night. I am also having a hard time not running into the kitchen right now to eat all of the leftovers. Were it not for the promise of dinner with Mr. X tonight, I would be doing that very thing right this minute, excessive caloric intake be damned.
These superlatives are deserved despite some minor, er, troubles with my pizza dough. I just can’t win with that stuff, I tell ya! If I were the paranoid type, I’d think the pizza universe has something against me, and was purposely thwarting my every endeavor. Good thing I’m more likely to blame myself. Uh, wait…
While this particular dough recipe has no flaws in the taste category, and wins extra marks in the texture and crust categories, it is so wickedly sticky it’s impossible to work with. Stretching it out is beyond frustrating, not to mention time consuming, but then trying to transfer the finished product from the pizza peel to the hot, hot, hot oven? Oh god, can we just say zucchini flinging? I managed to avoid screaming and throwing food around my kitchen last night, but just barely.
Ultimately, though, the only problem with the final product is a weird, folded-under corner with no crust. See?
That, and a messy pizza stone that I should probably go clean off right now. Pretty minor flaws, but they irk me nonetheless.
I’m willing to forget about that right now, though, because this pizza was so freakishly delicious even thinking about it now is making me salivate. I’m resisting you, leftovers! I’m resisting you!
So what’s up with this Mexican pizza, anyway? I decided to use enchilada sauce instead of tomato sauce, add a thin layer of refried beans (they didn’t call me the Refried Bean Queen when I was a kid for nothing), and top that with some leftover roast chicken from Monday night, which I re-cooked with some taco seasoning. And yes, I used the taco seasoning from a packet, because I have a nostalgic fondness for that particular flavor. I topped all of that with colby jack, possibly my favorite cheese in the world, and tossed it in the oven for about 10 minutes. Fresh tomatoes and cilantro topped it when it came out, and yeah, it was heavenly. Heavenly, I say!
Even these winter tomatoes had awesome flavor, so the grocery gods must have been conspiring in favor of my creation, even if the pizza gods were not.
Here is a recipe, for those who like their cooking directions laid out in an orderly fashion:
Mexican Chicken Pizza
- 1 ball of pizza dough (I used the recipe I formerly established as my favorite, but I think it needs some more fine tuning)
- 1/4 c. enchilada sauce
- 1/2 c. refried beans
- 3/4 – 1 c. cooked chicken, cut up into small bits or shredded
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 T. water
- about 3 T. taco seasoning (I used about half the packet)
- 1 c. shredded colby jack
- 1 cut up roma tomato
- chopped cilantro
You can flavor up the chicken while you’re preheating the oven and the pizza stone (if you’re using one): Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. When it’s hot, add the cut up chicken pieces and taco seasoning. Stir it all around to coat the chicken well, and add a bit of water to loosen things up and whatnot. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the water has mostly evaporated and the chicken is nice and seasoned, probably about seven or eight minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to assemble the pizza.
Heat up the refried beans while you’re at it, too; they are easier to spread around if they’re heated. You can use your microwave, or just heat them in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for about ten minutes. I had an unfortunately experience with some refried beans and a microwave when I was a small child, so I always use the stove.
Roll out your pizza dough, hopefully with better luck than I had making it behave. Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce over the dough, and top that with the beans, then the chicken.
Top all of that with cheese, and slide that baby in the oven. Cook it up until the crust is lovely and golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Then remove it from the oven, and top it with your fresh tomatoes and cilantro. Let it cool for about ten minutes. Trust me, seriously, let it cool. Those beans are HOT and I about burned my face off. Lovely.
I mean it, I couldn’t stop thinking about how good this was today. It was like the beginning of a love affair, when you just think about that other person, and obsess about when you next get to smooch them, and you can’t think about anything else all day long. Ok, I am not having a love affair with my dinner, and I promise not to scare you all anymore with my freakish food obsessive thoughts.
But I will suggest that you make this yourself. Maybe then you’ll understand.