Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Recipe Wednesday - Mexican Pizza Sandwich

This is part 3 of 3 in the series. The night I've been waiting for because I get to eat it! :) Tonight is the recipe for Mexican Pizza Sandwich. We will be combining the recipes from the last 2 weeks - Mexican Corn Bread and Mama's Pizza Sandwich - and making it just a bit more healthy.

Mexican Pizza Sandwich

Part 1:
1 pound (16oz) lean ground beef
8oz can tomato sauce (no sugar/no salt added if you can find it)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Sprinkle of salt and fresh ground pepper

Part 2:
8 oz neufchatel cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 cup crushed pork rinds (about 1.5oz)
1/4 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (depending on how spicy you like it)
4oz can diced/chopped green chilies

Part 3:
8 oz can tomato sauce (no sugar/no salt added if you can find it)
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar (divided in half)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9" x 9" glass baking dish and set aside. Get all of the ingredients out and ready to go.

2. Brown the ground beef until no pink remains. Drain. Rinse and drain to remove more grease if desired. Add the tomato sauce and spices listed for Part 1. Reduce heat and simmer.

3. While meat is simmering, place neufchatel cheese in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, pulsing processor until smooth each time. Add the remaining ingredients listed in Part 2 and blend until smooth, scraping sides if necessary.

4. Spread about 1/2 cup of the neufchatel mixture in the bottom of the baking pan, just covering the bottom. Pour 1/2 of the can of tomato sauce listed in Part 3 into the baking pan, spreading over the neufchatel mixture.

5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the sharp cheddar listed in Part 3 over the sauce. Add the meat mixture in an even layer. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over the mixture. Pour the remaining neufchatel batter evenly into the pan.

6. Bake for 20 minutes. Increase the temperature to 425 degrees and bake an additional 10 minutes, watching closely the last 5 minutes so it doesn't get too brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

This version is low carb, if you are watching that. There are lots of ways to change it up. You could use the "Mexican Blend" cheese or all sharp cheddar. You could use ground turkey instead of beef, poultry seasonings, and Swiss cheese for a completely different dish. Or use pasta sauce instead of tomato sauce, all mozzarella cheese and Italian seasonings for another flavor combination. Keep experimenting!

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