By Maris Callahan Pizza is a meal that is very much associated with Italian tradition. Said to have originated in Naples, pizza is typically an oven-baked, flat, disc-shaped bread topped with a tomato sauce and cheese (usually mozzarella). From there, the definition gets a little blurry. Pizza takes on many different forms in various parts of Italy and around the world. Enter the United States – a melting pot of cultures and cuisines – and you can imagine how pizza is taken to new levels every day. Today, we’re not only taking pizza to a new dimension, but also a new country: Mexico, the presumed origin of smoked jalapeno chili peppers, known as chipotle peppers or chili ahumado. Chipotles predate the Aztec civilization, and were first noted in the region that is now northern Mexico City. It is conjectured that the Aztecs smoked the chilies because the thick, fleshy jalapeno was difficult to dry and prone to rot. Today, chipotles are popular in Mexico as well as the United States, especially in the Southwest and California. Chipotles add heat and a warm, smoky flavor to most dishes. In the case of this pizza, they replace traditional tomatoes or tomato sauce, while lending a Tex-Mex flavor to one of America’s favorite quick dishes.
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1 lb whole wheat pizza dough (store-bought or homemade) 1/4 cup canned chilis in adobo sauce, chopped 1 cup black beans 4 oz goat cheese 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded Olive oil, for drizzling Sea salt, for sprinkling Salsa, optional Sour cream, optional Sliced avocado, optional Serves 4 Tip: Substitute soy cheese to make this a vegan dish or gluten-free dough for a gluten-free pizza.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Divide pizza dough into two separate pieces, each roughly the size of your fist. Roll each crust out into a rough circle about 8″ wide. Step 2: Place crusts onto a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil. Brush crust with olive oil, then sprinkle with crushed sea salt. Step 3: Spoon an even amount of chopped chipotles in adobo sauce on each crust and spread evenly. Top with the black beans and goat cheese. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Step 4: Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Step 5: Remove from the oven and top with salsa, sour cream, and sliced avocado, if desired. Serve immediately. About the Author: Maris Callahan is the author of In Good Taste, an avid self-taught home cook, and is widely knowledgeable about all things culinary. She is especially passionate about helping new cooks learn how to prepare healthy, delicious meals and snacks, even when life is busy. She believes in Ghirardelli chocolate, farmer’s markets and cooking from scratch when possible. When she is not in the kitchen working on her next recipe, Maris works as a marketing professional in Chicago and in her spare time, contributes to several websites including SheKnows.com, Diets In Review and Shape.com.