Recipes: Pizzas inspired by international cuisine

In honor of National Pizza Month, personal chef Michael Cotton shows us how to make a variety of pizzas inspired by international cuisine.


Gyro Pizza

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 cup water
2 prebaked 12-inch pizza crusts
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
3/4 cup salsa
2 cups coarsely crushed tortilla chips
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 medium tomatoes, chopped, optional
1 cup shredded lettuce, optional

Directions:
1.    In a large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes; set aside.
2.    Place naan on ungreased pizza pans or baking sheets. Combine beans and salsa; spread over crusts. Top with beef mixture, chips and cheese.
3.    Bake at 350° for 13-16 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with tomatoes and lettuce if desired. Yield: 2 pizzas (6-8 slices each).


Taco Pizza

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 cup water
2 prebaked 12-inch pizza crusts
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
3/4 cup salsa
2 cups coarsely crushed tortilla chips
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 medium tomatoes, chopped, optional
1 cup shredded lettuce, optional

Directions:
1.    In a large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes; set aside.
2.    Place naan on ungreased pizza pans or baking sheets. Combine beans and salsa; spread over crusts. Top with beef mixture, chips and cheese.
3.    Bake at 350° for 13-16 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with tomatoes and lettuce if desired. Yield: 2 pizzas (6-8 slices each).


Cilantro Lime Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:
2 naan crusts
1 bunch cilantro
1 can green chiles (4 oz)
2 limes, juiced
4 cups mozzarella
1 chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 white onion, diced

Directions:
1. Combine the cilantro leaves, green chiles, and lime juice in a food processor or blender and let it whirl.
2. Spread the cilantro lime sauce over the prepared naan.
3. Top with mozzarella.
4. Add onion, sprinkling all over, and the chicken breast.
5. Bake in an oven that is heated as high as it will go (mine is 500 degrees) on a pre-heated pizza stone for about 10-12 minutes, until the cheese gets beautiful brown bubbles on it.


Cajun Pizza

Ingredients:
1/2 pound medium cleaned and shelled shrimp
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
2 teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sliced bell peppers, any color
1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
1/3 cup pizza sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:
1.    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2.    In a small bowl, add shrimp, Cajun seasoning and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika. Mix together until shrimp is coated. Set in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pizza.
3.    In a large skillet set over medium heat, add olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add in bell peppers and onion. Sauté until soft
4.    Prepare a baking sheet with a liner.
5.    In a small bowl, mix together pizza sauce, remaining 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper.
6.    Spread the sauce onto the naan leaving a 1-inch crust around the edge. Sprinkle on the cheese, add sautéed peppers and onions and top with raw shrimp.
7.    Bake for about 18 minutes until the shrimp is fully cooked, the cheese is lightly browned and the dough is cooked.
8.    Let rest for 3 minutes and slice.

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