A tale of two cravings: Mexican-inspired pizza

This is what happens when cravings collide.

It is very easy to determine the cause of my hankering for these two foods.  The first craving, my huge desire for Mexican food, can be attributed to the fact that my dear friend Ariel has been talking about all things Mexican food-related for the past week. Sampling her lunch on Monday (some chilli chicken stew thing) was enough to send me over the edge. A spicy meal had to happen sooner or later.

The second of craving, the one for pizza, can be blamed on the constant reminder I have of the gooey dish, thanks to the two pizza parlours visible from my front porch and the fact that in a mere three weeks I will be eating the real deal in Italy.

A quick brainstorm and Internet search later, I decided that the combination of these two things was a go. Since it’s a little hard to see from the picture, let me describe to you the most wonderful part of this pizza: the refried black bean sauce.

Okay, so it wasn’t really a sauce per se, but rather a huge and delicious pile of mush that formed the foundation layer of my pizza.  I mixed a cup of refried beans (they are incredibly solid when coming from a can. This surprised me) with water (to make it more sauce-like) and salsa.  Finally, I tossed in some Old El Paso chilli mix that I had lying around, and the spicy base was complete. It was awesome, and meant that I was getting a protein fix sans meat (this whole semi-vegetarian thing is going okay, huh?).

Piled on top of this black bean base were the most ingredients I’ve ever put on a pizza: tomato, jalapeno pepper, red onion, corn, cilantro and more cheese than you could shake a stick at. All made this pizza taste exactly like an authentic Mexican meal. If I closed my eyes I could have been eating a taco. Wonderful, wonderful craving queller.

Another awesome thing about this pizza: I have SO many leftovers, which means the next two days worth of lunches will not be as sad and disgusting as today’s makeshift meal (some old mixed greens, leftover macaroni pasta, Parmesan cheese and store-bought Italian dressing. I know, I puked a little bit too).

To end on a positive note: Over the next few days I am planning on making fantastic cupcakes using some wonderful cupcake accessories that I bought in Toronto back in April. Anticipate away! Update as of 12:11 a.m. on Friday morning: the cupcakes have been made. They are delicious and gorgeous. Check for post soon.

Recipe: Mexican-inspired pizza
Adapted from A Couple Cooks
Pizza dough (Canadian Living)
– 3 cups all purpose flour
– 2 tsp quick-rising instant dry yeast
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 1/4 cups hot water
– 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

In bowl, combine 2 3/4 cups of the flour, yeast and salt. With wooden spoon, gradually stir in water and oil until ragged dough forms, using hands if necessary.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead for about 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding up to 1/4 cup more flour, 1 tbsp at a time, if necessary.

Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Pizza
– 1 cup refried brown beans (about half a 14 oz can)
– 3 tbsp water
– 3 tbsp salsa, any intensity
– 1 tbsp Old El Paso chilli mix
– 3 cups cheddar cheese (you could also substitute a more Mexican-style Tex Mex cheese)
–  Small red onion
– 1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
– 1/2 cup canned corn, drained
– 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
– 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
– 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450°. If you are using a pizza stone to cook your pizza, make sure you preheat it along with the oven.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together refried beans, water, salsa and Old El Paso spice until the

At this point, your pizza dough should be rolled out and spread onto your preheated pizza stone or normal pizza pan. Spread the refried bean sauce over top of the dough, using the back of a spoon to distribute it evenly.

Add the cheddar cheese on top of the refried bean sauce. Add all the other toppings – tomato, red onion, drained corn, cilantro and the jalapeno pepper, distributing evenly. Finally, sprinkle the kosher salt on top of all this – according to the original recipe, it really makes the flavours pop (and it works!).

Bake in the oven until crust starts to brown and cheese is bubbly and golden.

Makes one 14-inch pizza, about 8-10 pieces.

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2 thoughts on “A tale of two cravings: Mexican-inspired pizza

  1. Your writing always leaves me laughing, and a little jealous! I adore refried beans, we should hit up Mexican food in the market before you leave for Italy/before school gets nuts. Ahora and Burrito Burracho are both awesome!

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