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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mexican Pizza with Cornmeal Crust

I have fond memories of Taco Bell. I worked there for a very long time, managed for awhile, but decided that I wanted to work with kids. Before leaving, I gorged myself on all of my favorites at every given opportunity - cheesy gordita crunches, nacho supremes, and mexican pizzas. Not a normal mexican pizza - tons of cheese, more tomatoes, and very little sauce. 

When I saw this recipe, I knew that I had to make it and quick. I love that it is all homemade, right down to the pizza shell. I made and baked off the dough, put them out for assembly of choice, and served them to happy faces. I have included the recipe in it's entirety below - feel free to allow people to choose their individual toppings. If you are uncomfortable with yeast, please please please give this recipe a try. You will surprise yourself. Trust me. 

For the pizza:
1 c salsa
14.5 ounce can fat-free refried beans
1 pound ground meat, cooked
2 T ground cumin
1 small onion, sliced
1 bell pepper (any color), sliced
handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, diced
3/4 c lowfat sour cream
2 c lowfat cheddar cheese
1 recipe cornmeal crust

For the crust:
1 1/2 T dry active yeast
2 c whole wheat flour
1 T sugar
1/4 c cornmeal
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 1/2 t salt
1 c warm water (not hot!)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix yeast, sugar, cornmeal, 1 c flour and 1/2 c warm water. Mix and let sit for 5 minutes or so. Add oil, salt and about 2/3 of the remaining flour. Knead well for about 3-5 minutes, adding flour and water one tablespoon at a time as needed. (Add water if the dough is dry; add flour if the dough is wet.) Dough will not be sticky. Place in warm space covered with a damp towel and allow to rise for 15 minutes. The dough will not rise much, and it will seem slightly tough. That's OK.

Divide into two, then use a rolling pin to roll into two rounds to fit your pan. Use a fork to pierce the dough on both sides, and place on either pizza pan or in a cast-iron skillet for crispier crust.

Remove from oven and spread 1/2 can of beans and meat on each crust, following with half the salsa, cheese, onions, and peppers. Sprinkle on cumin, then place in oven and bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 8 minutes.

Slice each pizza into six pieces, then top with cilantro, some avocado, 1 T lowfat sour cream. 

Source: Adapted from Sparkpeople

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