Mexican Pizza with Salsa

This chile pepper gets its name from its origin. In Spanish, serrano is an adjective meaning “from the mountains” which is where it originated-in the mountains of Hildalgo, Mexico. The serrano is normally about twice as hot as Jalapeno (about 10,000 to 15,000 Scoville units). It is the second most popular chile pepper in Mexico. This chile is used mostly for salsas but can also be used in soups, sauces, chili or stews. Try these as a hotter substitute for Jalapeno.

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1 lb lean ground beef
1 (1 1/4 oz) package taco seasoning
2 tbsps water
8 small flour tortillas
1 (16 oz) can refried black beans
1/2 cup pico
3/4 cup salsa
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup black olive, sliced


Preheat oven to 400°F.
Preheat George Foreman Grill. Grill tortillas for 2 minutes each side.
At the same time, brown beef in a sautépan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, drain. Return to pan. Mix in taco seasoning and water. Set aside.
In the same pan ((no need to wash), heat refried beans for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat.
Spread 1/4 refried beans on one tortilla, followed by 1/4 beef mixture, and top with another tortilla.
Spread 3 tbsps salsa on the second tortilla, then add Cheddar and Monterey jack cheese. Sprinkle 1 tbsp green onion and 1 tbsp olive. Top with 2 tbsps pico.
Do the same with the other 3 pizzas.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Serve with the rest of the salsa and pico.

Preparation Time includes making the salsa and the pico. If you choose to fry tortillas, here is how to do it. Heat a small amount of Canola oil in a skillet. Once the oil is hot, place one tortilla in and fry for 30-45 seconds each side. Keep the tortillas as flat as possible and pop up any bubbles that may form. Transfer to paper towel to drain.

Salsa Recipe

8 Roma tomatoes, roasted in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes
1 small bunch cilantro
1/2 small white onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
a pinch of salt
1 serrano pepper, seeded

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. This recipe makes quite a bit of salsa. It can be stored in the fridge up to two weeks.