Chicken Taco Pizza

Today I was in the mood for a pizza, but also Tex-Mex; so why not combine them?  I hunted around for a simple recipe and found a lot of complicated ones, so I came up with my own.  This literally has 4 simple steps – the meat, the base, the topping prep, and baking, DONE!  So without further ado, here it is:

Chicken Taco Pizza

Chicken Taco Pizza

The Meat:

600-800 gr. Chicken meat, diced

1 spring onion, finely chopped

Taco spice * to taste

Toss into a pan & turn the stove on high.  Stir, cooking until the meat is done; set aside to cool.

Mix into the meat:

~ ½ C. mayonnaise or sour cream or plain yoghurt, along with a squirt of lemon juice and about 1 garlic clove’s worth of garlic paste.

The Base:

Instead of the typical pizza base of tomato sauce, essentially this is a bean sauce.

1 tin of beans, drained – either white beans or kidney beans; if you’re daring, a tin of refried beans!

Pop the contents into a blender, sprinkle in a few chives & a bit of seasoning or lemon juice, and blitz until a smooth paste.

The Toppings:

Slice any or all of the following toppings:

6-8 button mushrooms

10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Black olives(pitted), chopped

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

1 avocado, halved, pitted & peeled, and sliced thinly

~1 C. grated Cheddar cheese

On a tray, roll out your phyllo dough onto a sheet of baking paper, and spread the base mixture from edge to edge.  Pour the meat mixture on (drain, if too juicy) and spread it out, then toss on the toppings, and top with the cheese.

The Baking:

Pop it in the cold oven, and 45 minutes to an hour before you’re ready to eat, turn the oven on to 180°C (350°F).  Serve hot, and enjoy!

Can be served with tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole, or just as-is!

 

*You can use any taco or fajita spice you like; if you don’t have access to such a spice in the store, or you want to make your own to ensure you know what’s in it, click here for a DIY recipe.

Dietary note:  For those who are lactose intolerant, Cheddar cheese is naturally lactose-free; the yoghurt or sour cream can be the LF variety, and you’ve still got a tasty meal!

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Puff Taco Strudel

Today I pulled some ground beef out of the freezer and had a pastry dough to use up, so I went to my Pinterest board for savoury baking and decided to go with “Puff Taco Strudel”.  Obviously, I adapted the recipe – I refuse to use pre-mixed, chemical-laced products; making them myself is just as fast and a whole lot healthier.  So here’s my version (photo, courtesy of Pinterest):

Puff Taco Strudels

450 gr. ground beef

1 stalk of leek, thinly ringed

1-2 beefy tomatoes, finely diced

Black olives (amount to taste), coarsely chopped

Taco spices to taste

———————-

~100 gr. grated cheese

1-2 puff pastry doughs, rectangular OR Bisquick dough, rolled out

2 eggs

a bit of milk, egg, or Ranch dressing diluted with a bit of milk for a dough wash.

Combine the first ingredients into a frying pan, until the meat is browned (no butter or oil is necessary unless you’re using lean meat; then I would recommend a bit of virgin coconut oil).  Remove from heat.

Stir in the cheese while it’s still warm, and then the eggs.  Spoon along the centre of a rolled-out puff pastry sheet or rolled-out Bisquick dough; fold over and pinch to close, then flip the strudel seam-side down.  poke a few air holes along the top, then brush with your choice of wash – I used a bit of the Ranch dressing with milk.

Pop into a pre-heated oven at 210°C for 20-40 minutes (depending on your oven), until golden brown.  Serve as-is, or with the typical Tex-Mex side dish of guacamole, salsa, or a salad of your choice.  Enjoy!

Puff Taco Strudel

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Tex-Mex Pizza on a Bisquick Crust

This week we tossed together a delicious pizza (pizza’s big on the menu with a teenager in the house) with a Tex-Mex twist.  The photos didn’t turn out well, so you’ll just need to use your imagination!  It’s worth the effort – this is going on my go-to list!

The baking pan we used was one of those large oven sheets that usually comes with your oven; for that size you’ll want about 4 cups or more of bisquick, with enough water to knead it into a springy dough.

Tex-Mex Pizza

 

Mix the Bisquick dough (click here for a DIY mix) with enough water to make an elastic dough, then roll it out and put in onto a buttered pan (I use coconut oil).  You can either leave it raw to top with the ingredients, or pre-bake it a bit.

 

Pan Dish:

2 Chicken breasts, diced and cooked with:

2-4 shallots, sliced in thin rings

a handful of freshly chopped coriander

lime juice – a good dose to sauté into the meat and onions

Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté this mixture together until the meat is cooked through, and remove from heat.  Into the warm mixture, toss:

1 small can of garbanzo beans

1 small can of kidney beans

a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

spices to taste (fajita spice mix, or chilli powder, or a bit of mesquite spice)

Toss to combine, then set aside.

 

1 avocado

a handful of black olives, chopped

300 gr. grated cheese of choice (Cheddar would work great, but there are several Swiss cheeses that are great alternatives too)

Preheat your oven to 220°C (430°F)

Slice 1 avocado in “half-moon” slices, and chop the olives; distribute both over the crust.

Pour the pan mixture over the avocado and olives, spreading it out to the edges evenly.

Top with the grated cheese and pop into the oven.

Bake ~20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browning slightly.

 

En Guete!

 

 

Absolutely Revoltingly Disgusting Quesadilla-cum-Quiche Casserole

Every two weeks, two teenagers (siblings) come over for a visit, dinner, and usually a movie or baking together.  This tradition started back in 2009, and despite their busy schedules they still come!  I’ll enjoy it while I can, because soon they’ll be adults!  They love coming for the good food, relaxed atmosphere, and the fun we have together.  We have an inside joke that when they really like the dinner, they’ll say it’s “absolutely disgusting.”  Their mother almost swallowed her tongue the first time she heard her son say that to me!  This time, he said, “That was an absolutely revoltingly disgusting experiment.  You’ll have to try that again sometime.”  This dish literally takes about 10 minutes to put together, and serves 3-4.

So here’s what I did for such a high compliment:

Whole-Wheat-Tortillas

Quesadilla-cum-Quiche Casserole

6 whole-wheat tortillas

1 small-to-medium onion, finely chopped

~½ – 1 Cup cheese, finely chopped or grated (I used Raclette cheese, but any semi-firm cheese will taste great)

spices of choice, to taste (I used a “Tex-Mex” taste combination of coriander, lemon pepper and chili powder)

~½ – 1 Cup ham, finely chopped

½ can kidney beans

You could also toss in ~½ C. finely chopped fresh mushrooms if you want to expand it.

Mix it all together; if it’s too dry for your taste, stir in a bit of plain yogurt.

Spoon the mixture down the center of each tortilla and wrap them, laying them seam-side-down in a casserole dish.  Once you have the dish full (mine was a 6-tortilla dish, but this is stretchable or reducible), mix the following:

3 eggs, whipped

~1 – 1½ C. milk

A generous squeeze of lemon juice; this combined with the milk makes buttermilk

~150 gr. grated cheese

a generous dash of chives, pepper and salt to taste

Mix well and pour over the tortillas; the liquid should fill the dish.

Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs for a crunchy top.

Bake at 200°C (400°) for 35-40 minutes, until the crumbs are golden brown.

 

Zesty Lemon & Tomato Salsa

Preserved lemon adds a tart twist to traditional fresh tomato salsa.  This goes well with the recipes recently posted for Beef Empanadas and Salted Lemon Guacamole, making a complete meal with a side of tortilla chips, and a dessert of your choice.  Scoop it up with tortilla chips or use it as a topping for your other Tex-Mex or Mexican dishes.

Zesty Lemon & Tomato SalsaZesty Salted Lemon Salsa

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup finely diced salted lemons

4 green onions, thinly sliced (or 1 regular onion, finely chopped)

a handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine everything in a bowl large enough to accommodate stirring.

Salted Lemon Guacamole

This is a side dish.  Usually one would add more lemon juice and salt, but these are both amply supplied by the salted lemon in its own juice.

This goes well with a lemon salsa (coming up next!), and the Empanadas.  En Guete!

Salted Lemon Guacamole

This goes great with the Southwest Beef Empanadas & Salted Lemon Salsa!

This goes great with the Southwest Beef Empanadas & Salted Lemon Salsa!

3 avocados, sliced in two, pitted, and sliced / scooped into a blender

a dash of lemon or lime juice per avocado

1 shallot, coarsely chopped and tossed into the blender

1 Tbs. Chopped salted lemons, tossed into the blender

 

Blend these ingredients until smooth.  Add:

 

a handful of freshly-washed coriander leaves, finely chopped

1-2 Tbs. salted lemons, finely chopped

pepper to taste

3-4 Tbs. Plain yoghurt or sour cream, to give it a smooth taste

1 meaty tomato, diced and folded in to the blender mixture

 

Fold in all of these ingredients into the blended ingredients, and pour all into a serving bowl.  Serve with tortilla chips.