Post #452 A Different Kind of Pizza

February 5, 2016 at 11:19 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

When I was growing up, there were staples in the kitchen and pantry.  Staples are the foods that are there all the time; that the family can’t do without.  Some of the basics are flour and sugar and bread.  It’s different for each family, but for every storm warning just watch what flies off the shelves of the local grocery store and you’ll get a good idea of what the most common ones are.

In our house, peanut butter and jelly, bread, apples, milk were the most used.  As we grew up, moved around, our tastes changed and our staples changed.  Cheese was added.  Dill pickles, beef jerky, flour and corn tortillas found their way into our hearts.  Apples went away, to be replaced by oranges, tangerines, lemons, watermelon, etc.  Flour, sugar, milk, eggs, coffee were always there.

In our house now, our staples are flour, sugar, eggs, bacon, baking soda, and lettuce.  We also have breads of various types, cheese of various types, cans of diced tomatoes, pasta, and nearly always can lay our hands on tortillas.  Staples exist so a meal can be made on the fly.  We had tacos last night with some of our staples.  But this post isn’t about that, although the tacos were really good.

It’s about what I fixed for lunch yesterday using only the staples.

When I lived in Arizona, we learned a new style of cooking partly because everyone else was eating that way, and partly because it’s what was available in the grocery stores.  Mexican food is incredibly flavorful, very filling, and very easy to make.  I’ve written about tacos, enchilada, burritos, chimichangas, nachos, and salads in this blog among others.  One of my first posts was how to make flour tortillas by hand.  Not a terrifically easy process but totally worth it.  I’ve even written about making corn tortillas, but I still have to work on those.

Nachos3

When I was a kid, though, I “created” something I was quite proud of.  I took a corn tortilla, sprinkled it heavily with cheese and heated it in a skillet until the cheese melted.  Then I rolled it tightly and ate it hot and gooey and tasting great.  Then I found out everyone was eating these things and filled them with all kinds of things and called them rolled tacos, or taquitos.

Another great snack we had as kids was heating a flour tortilla over an open flame on the gas stove.  You let it sit for a few seconds on the flame on one side until it bubbled, then carefully flipped it until it bubbled then took it off the flame.  I usually ate it hot and toasty just like that.  Others put butter on it, or sprinkled it with cheese, or sugar and cinnamon, or other things.

Then I hit on the idea of sprinkling a flour tortilla with cheese and heating it in the oven until the cheese melted and the tortilla was crispy and brown on the edges.  I was quite happy with it and bragged to all my friends about it.  They called it a cheese crisp and had been eating them for years.

Flour Tortilla Cheese Crisp

Well, I was kinda let down, but continued eating them whenever I wanted to.  Until I learned about quesadillas, but that’s another story.

Once I moved back east, I didn’t keep the staples for Mexican cooking in the house so I stopped eating it as much.  I kept hearing about various restaurants that served authentic Mexican food, but they were usually Tex-Mex (good in its own right but not what I was used to) or highly institutionalized with much of it coming out of a can.  Very little was fresh.  And I kept hearing about something referred to as a Mexican Pizza.  Turned out, it was just my cheese crisp with stuff on it.

So yesterday, I saw the flour tortillas, the cheese, and a can of tomatoes and thought, huh, why not?

Flour Tortilla Pizza 01

I took the ingredients listed above and made lunch.

First, I heated the oven to 425.  Then I prepped my baking sheet.  Ever try to get cooked cheese off of anything?  Yeah, me too.  So I put a sheet of foil over the baking sheet.  I lined the tortillas up and sprinkled them with tomatoes and cheese.

Flour Tortilla Pizza 02

I baked them at 425 for 12 minutes.  I gotta tell you, the aroma was amazing.

I ended up with this:

Flour Tortilla Pizza 03

And it was so good.  I made three, and was able to finish them, but only just.  And I’m more than happy that I remembered them cuz in the future when I make these again, I’m going to make them so much more substantial.  I’m already thinking about adding salsa fresca and refried beans.  I want to add some season beef or chicken.  Maybe turn it into a giant single nacho?  Throw some sour cream and guacamole on top?

Nachos3

Mound the ingredients on it like a real pizza.  The Mexican Pizza I heard about years ago.  I’m really looking forward to experimenting with this and having a good time.

If you decided to play around with it, let me know what you come up with.

Enjoy

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3 Comments

  1. Sounds awesome. I will be giving these a try.

  2. I’m kind surprised when you listed staples I didn’t see rice in there. Whenever I hear about a big storm coming I double-check my rice. And I only use Jasmine rice. With that I can cook anything. 🙂

    • Yeah, I forgot about rice, what was I thinking? We keep Jasmine (Partner/Spouse’s favorite) and Basmati (my favorite) on hand all the time. We also keep a couple of box mixes, the Near East basic rice pilaf and the Goya Yellow Rice mix. We like the flavors. We’ve also started experimenting with risotto using Arborio rice. It’s kind of fun, but you have to stand there and stir it constantly.


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