When I was a kid, my parents, brother and I wouldn’t really go out to eat very often. I believe we would go out about once a week. My mom worked hard at making delicious meals every night, which I’m sure after a long loooooong day at work, she sometimes just wanted dinner to magically appear. Regardless, she consistently put dinner on the table and it was good stuff. Often when I call home, I can’t resist asking what she’s making for dinner that night and drooling.
Typically when we would go out, we would head to one of my parents usual favorite restaurants. I didn’t mind because I could sleep in the booth and no one cared, or I would color, color, color, color like it was going out of style. Sometimes they’d even spoil me with a schooner the size of my head filled with mouse. I’m sure I was obnoxious after all that sugar. Either that or I’m guessing I passed out in the car.
Once or twice, I remember actually going out to get pizza at a restaurant located inside an old fire station. To make it even more bizarre, we would order taco pizza. To an eight year old, that was magical.
I’ve never noticed another pizza place with taco pizza on their menu. I’ve always been curious about it. Since then, that pizza place has closed. A burger join has moved in. (Burger Joint + Fire Station = Not Quite As Magical) I’ve long forgotten the name of the pizza place in the fire station as has my Dad who I’ve pestered for the name on several occasions. (Sorry, Dad!)
I vaguely remember the pizza with taco seasoned ground beef, cheese, tomatoes, strips of lettuce and veggies, but honestly my memory is vague. I just remember always wanting to go there, so I decided to try and recreate this pizza at home. I did a little googling until I came up with several recipes that were remotely close to what I vaguely remember though details are fuzzy. I used those recipes to put together my base.
When I’m starting a new recipe, I like to make things as easy as possible. If it’s good from there, then I’ll step it up a notch the next time I make it. For that same reason, I decided to start with Publix pre-made pizza dough. If you’ve never cooked with this before, it’s found in a little cooler in the bakery section. Sometimes they have other variations from traditional Italian like 5 grain (which I’ve learned is just their Italian with a bunch of grains and seeds mixed in), but lately all I can seem to find when I go is their Italian which was fine.
I first clean off a section of counter with wet wipes, and then I lay down some flour. I halfway unroll the bag and flip it over. The dough plops out with a “splat” onto the counter.
I let it hang out there for about an hour.
In the meantime, I got my ingredients ready. Recently I’ve started shredding my own cheese with my food processor. I’ve learned that the pre-shredded cheese has added chemicals tossed in with it to prevent caking such as wood pulp. Uhh, gross? Think I’m crazy pants? Check out this Wall Street Journal article. Apparently, even organic products contain this junk. Oh and I know I’m not perfect, and don’t know everything about food additives, but I gotta start somewhere.
Next I browned up the ground beef and tossed in some taco seasoning. I’m hopefully going to learn how to season the meat properly on my own in the near future. If anyone has a recipe for this, send it my way!
Now that the dough had time to rise, we rolled it out. To keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin, I always brush a little flour on the rolling pin first.
I have to admit. I really suck at this step. I try, get frustrated, give up, and Adam steps in to save the (dough) day. He rolls some mean dough.
…and into the oven it goes. Without any toppings. I like to let the dough cook for about 8 minutes on its own. This helps the dough cook all the way through so I don’t end up with a slightly gooey uncooked center.
Next I begin to prep the layers. First layer? Refried beans.
I’m lazy so the diced peppers and tomatos came from Publix. I love these little tubs of pre-diced veggies. Honestly, it’s not all that much more costly either as long as you’re going to use up the whole container.
Next, add a layer of ground beef.
Cheese!!! That’s actually Sharp Cheddar, but not yellow like you traditionally see.
Lastly some green onions.
This pizza was thick of ingredients. I had two slices and was done. Super delicious.
Only thing missing is the old fire station.
- 1 package Publix Italian dough
- 1 container refried beans
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 package taco seasoning
- 1 package Tomato Trinity, diced tomato, pepper, and onion mix
- 1 package sliced green onions
- 1 package cheddar cheese
- Clean a space on the counter. Sprinkle about 1/3 cup flour on the counter and spread out. Unwrap the package of dough and set on the counter to rise.
- Brown the ground beef in a non-stick sprayed skillet over medium heat until no longer pink. Add seasoning packet as well as the required amount of water according to package directions.
- Shred the cheddar cheese in a food processor.
- Roll out the dough into a circle shape and place on pizza stone.
- Cook dough in oven for 8 minutes and remove.
- Layer ingredients on top of the dough in the following order: refried beans, ground beef, tomato trinity, cheddar cheese, and a sprinkle of green onions.
- Cook pizza in oven until cheese is melted and crust starts to brown. This should take approximately 20 minutes.
Mmmm this pizza really was sooo good. It would have paired excellently with a simple side salad too.
Do you like unique pizza combinations? What is your favorite?