Yesterday was my birthday. At my age, birthdays pretty much come and go without too much fanfare. We usually go out for a nice dinner somewhere and call it a day. Since Mr. SGCC was out of town on business, we decided to postpone our celebration until this weekend. Mini SGCC insisted that I shouldn’t have to cook on my “special” day, so she decided to take charge of last night’s dinner arrangements. She did what any normal, red-blooded American teenager would do. She ordered pizza. Except, she didn’t just order any old pizza. She got us a taco pizza.
I’ll admit, I was skeptical about that taco pizza at first. But about three slices in, I was sold. There wasn’t anything elaborate about the pizza – just taco meat, tomatoes, scallions and some lettuce, topped with a little sour cream and salsa – but it was pretty darn tasty!
It got me to thinking about how versatile pizza can be. I started imagining all kinds of different ingredient combinations that would work on a pizza. How about a pulled pork pizza? Or, a Korean kimchi pork belly pizza? Mu Shu pizza, anyone? A linguine and clams pizza, without the linguine? Or even a bacon and eggs pizza? See what I mean? The possibilities are virtually endless.
Then, I remembered another kind of pizza that I posted about a few years ago – Picadillo Pizza. Now, that was one awesome pizza! So awesome, in fact, that I thought I’d share it with you again.
Picadillo is a Cuban dish made with ground meat, tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers and various other ingredients simmered with herbs and spices. Though, it’s typically served over rice, it is kind of like a Cuban version of taco meat, which is why the taco pizza reminded me of it. The version I like to make includes green olives, capers, raisins and slivered almonds, and is flavored with cumin, smoked paprika, oregano and a dash of cinnamon. Picadillo is very easy to prepare and is muy sabroso! Picadillo also seems to get even better when it sits, so the leftovers are the perfect thing to use as a pizza topping for the next day’s dinner.
To make picadillo, first dice up your vegetables and sauté.
Then, add your meat and cook it all together.
Add the rest of your ingredients and simmer.
That’s it. You’re done!
You can enjoy your picadillo the traditional way, over rice, as a pizza topping like I did, as a sandwich filling or any way you like. I’m thinking picadillo sloppy Joes sound pretty good too.
Note: You can make your favorite pizza dough recipe or use store bought dough for this dish. Either works great. You could make it even simpler by using English muffins, bagels or pitas.
1 ball of pizza dough
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (approximately) cups picadillo (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or other garnishes of your choice
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. If using a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.
2. Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Brush with olive oil. Top with picadillo, leaving about a 1-inch border.
3. Slide pizza onto the pizza stone or a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake until crust is puffed up and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
4. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 green and 1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet Sazon Goya seasoning (I find this in the ethnic foods section at the supermarket.)
2 pounds ground beef (I like a mix of sirloin and chuck. You can use any kind of ground meat – even pork or turkey.)
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup Manzanilla olives stuffed with pimiento, sliced
1 cup raisins
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds
2 bay leaves
1tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Chopped cilantro for garnish
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions, peppers, garlic and Sabor seasoning and sauté over medium heat until soft and tender, about 5-6 minutes.
2. Add beef and cook until no more pink remains.
3. Add wine and simmer until it has all been absorbed. Swirl in the tomato paste until it dissolves.
4. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes.