Wow. Been awhile hasn’t it? Life has been crazy busy. Work mostly. Trying to fit in other things as well. And well, some laziness on my part. It’s not like I have not been cooking. I have. So I hope to catch up with some of what has been brewing the kitchen over the next few weeks.
My son has taken to hanging around the kitchen lately trying to figure out what dad is doing. He doesn’t last long, but he is always around. At times he will run over to his play kitchen and grill and do a little cooking of his own.
He really has not done too much with actual food. Mostly he really likes to make cookies. Go figure. But I wanted him to get his hands dirty again. So what better way to let a kid go at it than to break out the English muffin pizzaas. So he loaded his up with cheese, sauce, pepperoni and olives. And then he chowed it. Score!
But while my son and wife partook of the English muffin experience, I decided to make my own pizza. I have a little experience with pizza. My first job ever was at a joint called Peter Piper Pizza. To be honest, I was just there for the video games. Then later on in college I actually spent a good chunk of time with Little Caesar’s Pizza, working my way up to an assistant manager before I left.
The great thing about working in a pizza joint is that while the everyday pizza customers get might be cut and dry, the pizzas employees make behind the scenes can be amazing. I think my favorite I ever made was a sauceless pizza with mushroom, beef and bacon with garlic sauce and parm brushed over the top after it got out of the oven.
So you might guess that one would get tired of pizza working there, and that is true. But a good pizza is a good pizza. And such was a pizza I discovered in Salt Lake at a place called Salt Lake Pizza & Pasta. It wasn’t so much what was on top of the pizza but the black bean sauce they used. Never get anything else when I go there.
So, drawing on my vast knowledge of fast food pizza, I decided I would try and pull off something similar. I settled on that black bean sauce with cheese, mushrooms, jalapeños, bacon and garlic for toppings. Have to say, I ate way too much after it left the oven. Pretty spot on. Although, with pizza, the crust is always key. I cut a corner and bought a rolled pizza crust in a can. Not horrible, but definitely could have been better.
Pizza with Black Bean Sauce
1 14.5 oz can of black beans, drained
3 heaping tablespoons salsa
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pizza crust
2 cups Italian cheese (Parmesan, provolone, asiago, fontina)
bacon, cooked & chopped
jalapeño, sliced & seeded
To make black bean sauce:
Place beans, salsa, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cilantro, garlic, cayenne pepper and olive oil in blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
To make the pizza:
Place crust on baking sheet (non-stick or on corn meal). Spread sauce evenly leaving about 1/2 inch crust. Top with desired amount of cheese and toppings. Bake at 400 degrees for 14-18 minutes. Crust should be turning golden brown and cheese should have started to brown as well. Serve with cheese and red pepper.