Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chez Schumpeter's Creative Destruction in the Kitchen: Thin Crust Pesto Mini-Pizzas

Guest post by Art Carden

I am very, very fortunate that I get to enjoy the meals Shannon writes about here.  Periodically, I will try my own hand in the kitchen (like here and here).  I did that before lunch today by making a couple of thin crust mini pesto pizzas using some of the stuff we have lying around.

A bit of back story is in order first.  Shannon makes absolutely amazing pizzas--I mean pizzas that will reaffirm your belief in the goodness and benevolence of almighty God.  To accompany dinner on Thursday, she also made a bunch of homemade naan, which we finished earlier today.  She also makes tortilla chips by cutting up tortillas and baking them.

I was thinking last night that the naan would make a great base or crust for a mini-pizza, like you might do with an English muffin (when combined with scrambled eggs and a bit of cheddar cheese, the naan also makes a great ersatz breakfast burrito, as I discovered this morning).  After polishing off the naan at lunch, I got an idea based on how Shannon does pizza, naan, and chips as well as memories of Saint Louis-style thin-crust pizza from our years in the Gateway City.  Those were inspired by wistful yearnings for the beef noodle soup at St. Lous Bubble Tea and Wong's Wok (which has apparently relocated)--yearnings which were in turn inspired by the fact that it's freezing and snowy in Memphis.

But I digress.  I decided to make thin crust pesto mini-pizzas using wheat tortillas.

It was pretty simple: I laid a couple of tortillas on our fancy-pantsy Pampered Chef cooking stone (the large one) smeared them with some of the pesto left over from Sunday and some tomato paste, sprinkled them with cheese, and put them in the oven.  The cheese was a combination of the Parmesan cheese Shannon gets at Sam's Club (which is amazing) and "Great Value" Monterey Jack (which was the only almost-flavorless white cheese we had in the house; I would've used mozzarella had it been available).

The resulting mini-pizzas were quite good.  For a crispier crust I would've baked the tortillas before applying the pesto/cheese/etc.  I also made the mistake of opening a can of tomatoes before I knew I would be using them.  I didn't, so they're now in a container in the fridge.  I judge the experiment a success, and like any pizza, these could be topped with anything.  Anything, that is, except chorizo, because as Brad DeLong reminds us, that would be crazy.


  1. I vaguely recall a jalapeno popper incident involving dental floss.

  2. I know who you are, "Anonymous!" Or should I say "Wohnny Jang?"