Deluxe Mexican Pizza Made Easy
Normally, about this time of year, cooks start venturing back into the kitchen. There is nothing like the crisp winter evening air filled with the smell of something baking in the oven. Never mind that busy homemakers don't always have the time to whip up something from scratch.
A long-time family favorite of ours is Mexican Pizza. No need to make a salad to accompany this dish, its already in there. This home baked Mexican Pizza dish is easy to make, tastes like you spent hours preparing it and the family will love it.
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Spray a 11"x17" sheet cake pan with cooking spray or coat pan with shortening (I prefer Pam). (For thicker crust use a 9"x11" baking dish.) Remove one loaf of Bridgford Read Dough from the freezer; spray lightly with cooking spray or a light coating of oil or shortening, whichever you prefer.
Allow frozen dough to stand at room temperature, until the loaf has thawed completely and begun to rise. To help this process along, you can put the dish in front of the wood burner or fireplace. Do not set dish on top, as the bread will dry out and it will kill the yeast and prevent the dough from rising.
Once the dough has thawed, begin to prepare the ground beef. Fry the ground beef (or venison) in a skillet on the stove as usual, following the directions on the packet of Taco Seasoning. Set aside.
Thinly slice black olives into dozens of little black circles. Set aside.
Dice your tomato into tiny little cubes; they are used more for garnish and appearances. This may be omitted if you prefer.
Cut iceberg lettuce into thin strips, using only a plastic knife; using a metal knife will cause the lettuce to turn brown. Set aside.
Preheat Oven to 375° F.
Once the bread dough has begun to rise, press the dough out so that it covers the entire bottom of the pan, press up the sides of the dish to create a thicker edge crust. If air bubbles develop under the crust, use a fork to release the air bubbles. Air left under the crust will cause the crust to have large bubbles rise up during the baking process.
I like to press 1 or 2 tablespoons of minced garlic from a jar, directly into the crust. Fresh garlic may be used but it should be finely minced and cooked first, unless you prefer it raw. Be sure to spread it evenly on the crust, and then using your fingertips, gently press it into the dough. The juice from the canned minced garlic will add to the flavor of the pizza, so a little bit of juice is fine just don't saturate the crust.
Apply a thin layer of Contadina Pizza Sauce, (enough to cover), then apply the salsa directly on top of the pizza sauce. Try using 3 tablespoons at first; adjust to your own taste adding more or less as you desire. You will be adding the refried beans directly on top of this sauce mixture, so it's best not to have it too wet or the beans won't spread easily.
It's time now to add the refried beans. I like to scoop them out into a bowl, stirring and mashing them, this will make them easier to spread. Sometimes I'll add a little milk or cheese to help thin them out. As with the pizza sauce, some people prefer more or less beans, which is fine. Just keep in mind that they should be spread in an even layer.
Top the refried beans with the taco meat mixture, add as much or as little as you wish, I like to use about half a pound and save the rest for taco salad the next day or to make tacos the next day. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. (You can use taco cheese or a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar cheese or your favorite blend of cheeses.)
Bake at 375°F for approximately . Oven temperatures may vary. Pizza should be golden brown on the top. Always check the bottom of the crust. Mexican Pizza tends to be a very heavy pizza, which accounts for the lower temperature, to allow more time for the crust to cook properly.
Once your Mexican Pizza is a nice golden brown, remove from oven. Top with your prepared lettuce, black olives or natural green ripe olives and tomatoes. Cut into squares; top it off with a dollop of sour cream, guacamole and Jalapeño peppers if desired. This mexican pizza is versile and filling, sure to satisfy the hungry men in your life.
This entree makes a single 11" by 17" pizza. Serves a family of four (about 12 servings).
P.S. Pre-sliced black olives, pre-shredded lettuce and shredded cheeses are available at your local grocery store, if you don't care to lose a finger or prefer to do without the hassle.
Variations: Serve topped with guacamole. For a spicier taste treat add sliced jalapenos (before or after cooking).
About Lindsay Naturals — If you normally use black olives, consider this green alternative. We only recently discovered these wonderful little green jewels. They have a fantastic buttery flavor and are healthier for you than the black olive alternative. These might look like regular green olives but they are actually black olives in disguise, be sure to give them a try.
About Old El Paso Taco Seasoning — I prefer to purchase my taco seasoning in these 6.25-Ounce Canisters. The fit easily into my spice cupboard, they are convenient, economical (costing only $2.93 per canister, which cost around $5.00 each in the store. Just measure out as much as you need and add water. This seasoning mix contains no fat or cholesterol.
About Pizza Dough — While, I like to use frozen pizza dough for this recipe, you may make your own pizza. There are many good methods, we've prepared some wonderful pizza dough with our breadmaker. Just keep in mind that whatever style of crust you choose, be sure not to make a thin crust, unless you are going to pre-bake it. This is a heavy pizza and needs a thicker crust to support all the incredients.
Updated May 15, 2011
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