I’m finally starting to get in the mood for fall. The weather is starting to cool off here, and our garden is slowly thinning out. The transition from summer to fall is never easy for me because, in my opinion, the produce available during summer is the best out of the entire year. While I’m sad we won’t be able to walk into our backyard to grab tomatoes right off the vine, I am excited about the cool weather and abundance of squash.
In that time of not-quite-fall-but-summer’s-not-over, I turn to meals that are good any time of year. We love Tex-Mex, and we’ve made these taco pizzas at least three times in the past month or so. We even got to use one of our Virginia Sweet tomatoes to top them.
These tacos have a crispy corn tortilla base that’s topped with mashed pinto beans and then a layer of ground beef (or turkey) and cheese. After baking, a cool cilantro yogurt sauce is spooned on top to finish them off. Though these were a bit messy for Clara to eat (she almost always turns pizza upside down), they were a big hit with all of us. They come together in no time, and you can cut down on dinner-time prep by making the beans and meat ahead of time and simply topping and baking when you’re ready to eat.
- YIELD: 4 servings
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 tablespoons canola oil
Half a medium red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ pound ground turkey or beef
1 ear of fresh corn or ⅔ cup kernels
½ cup salsa
1 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup low sodium chicken broth
¾ cup grated pepper jack cheese
½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
Juice of half a lime
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup chopped fresh tomatoes
Heat oven to 425º. Using 1 tablespoon total of the oil, brush both sides of the tortillas. Alternately, you can mist them with spray oil. Place in a single layer on two baking sheets and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until lightly crisped. Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spices and continue cooking until fragrant, another minute longer. Transfer half the onion mixture to the bowl of a food processor or small mixing bowl.
Add the turkey/beef to the remaining onion and cook through, breaking up with a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Add the corn kernels and salsa to the turkey/beef and cook for 2-3 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Meanwhile, add the pinto beans and broth to the food processor and pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Alternately, you can mash the bean mixture with a fork or potato masher.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of the bean mixture over each tortilla, then top with about ¼ cup or so of the meat mixture. You may have a little leftover. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of cheese over each pizza, then bake for 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Remove from oven and spoon sauce over the top. Top with diced tomatoes, cut into quarters, and serve immediately.