Jill isn't a fan of the taco pizza I've been making for years. It's a favorite for Randy, Brent and Jake. Let's put it this way: It's not one of the recipes I put in her Friends and Family Favorites Cookbook because it isn't her favorite.
So I was surprised to get an email from her awhile back, telling me I just had to try a Taco Pizza recipe that was almost as good as Elroy's. (That's our local pizza place, and my kids still think it's the best, even though they've had plenty of pizza in bigger cities - including college towns.)
She sent the link, and I discovered it was on Tasty Kitchen, the Pioneer Woman's kitchen website (the mecca for food bloggers everywhere).
Jill & I both made some variations to the recipe. (I know: Who do we think we are to change a single syllable from the Queen of Blogging? We're such rebels!)
We both used my pizza dough recipe. We added hamburger. We didn't fry our own tortillas for the topping. And we didn't use nearly as much hot sauce.
I must admit: The recipe is a keeper.
As usual, when I make pizza from scratch, I double my pizza dough recipe and make 3 pizzas (1 large pizza pan, a smaller pizza pan and a sheet cake pan.) So I made the Taco Pizza for us to eat and then made a hamburger-pepperoni version and a plain pepperoni pizza to put in the freezer. (Love those meals that are already in the freezer!)
Jill and I both highly recommend this pizza for those times when you can't go to Elroy's.
Taco PizzaMy own pizza dough recipe
1 can (14 oz.) black beans
1 tsp. taco seasoning
1 lb. hamburger, browned
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 head green leaf lettuce, shredded thin
2 whole ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves (or to taste)
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tbsp. hot sauce (I didn't use all this)
4 whole corn tortillas, cut into thin strips (I didn't use)
1/2 cup canola oil for frying (I didn't use)
Make the pizza dough and let it rise as directed in the recipe. Pour black beans into a saucepan (or use a microwave-safe bowl and do this step in the microwave like I did). Add taco seasoning to taste and heat up beans over medium-high heat. Use a potato masher to mash the beans to desired texture. Continuing 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 fork when crisp, about 30 to 45 seconds per batch. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Set aside. (Neither Jill and I did this step. We just used ready-made chips.)
Place oven rack in the bottom position in the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
To assemble the pizza, spread dough on an oiled baking sheet, making sure it's relatively thin. Spread layer of refried beans all over pizza crust. Spread browned hamburger over the bean layer. Sprinkle mixed grated cheeses over the top. (Instead of using the two different cheeses, I used 2 cups of already mixed and shredded cheese.)
Place pan in 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 (I used salsa instead of hot sauce). With a spoon, let each diner add as much of the sour cream mixture as they'd like. Or if you want to be "fancy," you can put the sour cream mixture in a pastry bag and drizzle it. (You won't be able to do that if you've used salsa instead of hot sauce.)
Sprinkle with tortilla chips. (Both Jill and I just used crushed ready-made tortilla chips instead of frying the tortillas.) Cut into pieces and serve immediately with good quality salsa.
And here are a few photos of the process:
I used the microwave instead of the stovetop for the beans, and it worked well. Use a potato masher to make beans the consistency of refried beans.
Here's the bean mixture spread on the pizza crust. I added hamburger on top of that (the Pioneer Woman didn't, so just follow your own preferences.)
Here are the completed pizzas (The Taco Pizza at the bottom, plus a hamburger-pepperoni and a plain pepperoni.