A friend had posted a link to these Mini Mexican Pizzas awhile back, and I thought they looked like something my family would eat. However, I don’t usually have tortilla shells in the house, and running out to the store to pick them up is not easy when you live in the middle of nowhere like I do. Flour, though, I have … so I looked up a recipe to make your own tortillas. There are a lot of ways to do that, but this particular recipe seemed like something that would go over well, and it works with things I have in my pantry.
Of course, the whole thing got modified by the time I was done. I’ll explain what I ended up with, in case you’d like to try this at your house.
First, start the tortilla dough, since it will need some time to rest after mixing. I happen to have a breadmaker, so I used that to do the mixing as it allows me to have my hands free for other things, but there’s no reason not to simply do this on the counter with your own two hands. A mixing machine like a KitchenAid with dough hooks would do a great job as well.
- put 3/4 cup milk in a glass measuring cup and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes (or heat in a pan until it is scalded but not boiling)
- put 2 cups of flour, 1.5 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt into the breadmaker and start the dough setting
- slowly pour the heated milk and about 2 tsp oil (I used olive oil since that is what I keep on the counter) into the bread machine as it mixes
- let the machine knead the mixture for about 10-15 minutes, then unplug the machine and just let it sit while you do the filling (or use your hands for this part, the machine is entirely optional)
- put one can of refried beans (I intend to figure out how to make my own refried beans from dry pantry beans, but I used canned beans this time) in a mixing bowl along with a generous dash of taco seasoning and about 1/2 cup of salsa (more or less, depending how much you have, how spicy it is, etc.) and mix all that together
- get out your muffin tins (I used both my one dozen and my half dozen tins to make 18 in total from this recipe) and generously oil all the muffin compartments
- take your dough out of the breadmaker and divide it into 18 little balls, then set those on a damp cloth that you can flip up and over them so they can rest
- leave everything alone for about 20 minutes … you can grate the cheese while the dough is resting (I used some jalapeno Monterey Jack that was in the fridge, but cheddar would be fine)
- if you want to add a bit of meat to the tacos, scramble fry your ground meat (I used some of the ground turkey sausage mix I made up the other day) with some taco seasoning and water
- once the time is up (according to the instructions, you do want to wait the full 20 minutes or the dough will be hard to roll out), roll each ball into a circle and put it into the muffin tin, just like you would for making tart shells
- fill each shell with a spoonful of the bean mixture, then put a bit of meat on top, if you’re using it, and cheese on top of everything
- these can then wait until just before dinner: they go in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes, until the edges of the tortilla shells are baked golden and the cheese is all melted
- serve with salsa and ranch dressing or sour cream: they are very filling, so each person will probably need only 3-5 of them for a whole meal
And there you have it: keep your pantry stocked with flour, refried beans, and salsa, and have milk and cheese on hand (you could use powdered milk in a pinch) and you’re ready for supper.
I tend to prefer pantry meals to freezer meals, so I don’t store a lot of premade stuff in the freezer, but I suspect that these would also freeze just fine, unbaked, and you could put them back into the muffin tins and bake them a little longer. Healthy fast food.