Thursday, May 1, 2014

Taco Pizza and a gluten-free crust!



May has finally arrived!

Generally, I'm a pretty big fan of April, as temps warm up and new growth is apparent every where you look.  Well, since that wasn't really the case around Wisconsin this year, I'm ready to say good riddance to April and bring on the warmth and sunshine of May.

In addition to anticipating the full force of spring, we also have Cinco de Mayo to look forward, which is another great holiday for food!  If taco pizzas aren't your thing, there are also Chicken Quesadillas or Shredded Beef Burritos to check out in honor of the upcoming holiday.

Although I must admit, I feel a little bit like I am mixing two cultures here with the taco pizzas.  However, the rave reviews from the family were interpreted as seals of approval and a clashing of cultures is not such a bad thing.  I'll keep that in mind!


Their feedback included "This is the best pizza ever!" from both Landon and Alayna as well as Jerry's pure enjoyment over the gluten-free crust...not missing the wheat at all, hoping he gets to down the whole pizza himself!

Since the family usually requires two pizzas for a meal, I did make one with traditional crust and the other with the gluten-free, the toppings were the same, I'll just walk you through the gluten-free pizza.

The first time I had this gluten-free crust, I was at my sister's house and she made it for me.  Since then, as I've continued to research gluten free crusts, this still remains my favorite because it is made with all standard kitchen staples.  Cream cheese, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 1 tsp Italian seasoning and 2 cups shredded mozzarella.  Easy enough!


Start by softening the cream cheese, then whisking in the eggs, Parmesan, seasoning and finally stirring in the shredded mozzarella.


This time around, I baked it on a parchment lined baking sheet.  This worked much better than the 9x13 glass pan, as it was quite a bit more difficult to get out of the pan.


Dump the crust mixture out on the pan, spread it into an even layer and bake it at 375 F for about 20 minutes.  Allowing plenty of cooling time before adding the toppings.


In true taco fashion, 1.5 lbs of ground beef were browned and seasoned.  The traditional pizza sauce was replaced with a thin layer of salsa, before the taco meat was piled on and topped with a taco blend of shredded cheese.



Bake for about 10 minutes before adding crushed tortilla chips.  Bake for another 10 minutes.



For serving, these tasty pizzas were topped with more salsa, sour cream and Libby's Chunky Guacamole.

RECIPE

Ingredients:

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust:

8 oz Cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 cups shredded mozzarella

Pizza Toppings:
Salsa
1# ground beef, browned with taco seasoning added
Shredded Cheese
Tortilla chips - crumbled
Sour Cream
Guacamole

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together, starting with the cream cheese and eggs. 
Spread onto parchment lined baking sheet. 
Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes. 
Cool**

**The longer time allowed for cooling, the more the crust will resemble traditional pizza allowing for sliced to be picked up and eaten rather than requiring a fork.  

Top cooled crust with salsa, taco meat and cheese. 
Bake for 10 minutes at 375 F. 
Top with crushed tortilla chips. 
Bake for another 10 minutes.