Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Yeah. That's my word. What about it?

I know it's not hard to get a kid to eat a taco. No harder than getting him to eat a pizza. Tacos are fun. It's a salad wrapped up in a big Dorito, for crying out loud. What's bad about that?

Well, some of these recipes aren't about getting a kid to eat something he wouldn't normally eat. They are about opening a kid's eyes to trying new things and exploring new ways of doing things.
I do recipe contesting. That means that a big part of my life is spent looking at one thing and figuring out how to recreate it in a new, unusual, and hopefully appetizing way. I think I'm pretty good at it. For Steak-umms, I rebuilt barbecue using steak. http://www.delish.com/food/award-winning-recipes/steak-umms-recipe-contest
For the National Beef Cookoff, I reinterpreted my husband's favorite Caprese salad as a burger with my favorite grilled polenta instead of a bun. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/caprese-polenta-burger-small-plates-big-taste-recipe/reviews/index.html (And yes, having a recipe listed on http://www.foodnetwork.com/? One of the highlights of my life.)

Looking at things in new ways doesn't just open you to trying my Taqueso (get it? Taco + Queso?) Pizza. It can be the start of seeing how you can take something good and make it something great. Looking at things from a new perspective is creativity at its most basic, and has taken us into space, into microchips, into the DNA of the human body.

So make some pizza. It's good for your brain.

Taqueso Pizza

Tacos are really just little pizzas bent in half. Already sporting meat, sauce, cheese and toppings, the dish is perfect to make the leap from crispy tortilla envelope to flat bread shell.

1 pizza crust

1 pound ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small can green chiles

½ c. tomato sauce

2 t. chili powder

1 t. cumin

1 ½ t. sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Cayenne pepper or hot sauce (optional)

1 c. shredded cheddar

1 c. shredded mozzarella

¼ c. pickled mild banana pepper slices

1 T. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pizza crust on baking sheet.

In a large skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat with onions and garlic. Add chiles, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, sugar, salt, pepper and, if desired, cayenne or hot sauce. Simmer 5-10 minutes. Spread on pizza crust and top with cheeses. Scatter with banana pepper slices. Bake 20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro or parsley.

Serving suggestion – Instead of topping your taco pizza with lettuce, salsa and sour cream, serve them alongside. Wedges of iceberg lettuce drizzled with salsa and topped with a dollop of sour cream make a great salad accompaniment to a fun pizza.

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