From the Diary of a Kitchen Goddess: Introducing the "Pizzadilla"!
Friday, August 10, 2012 ~ "Pizzadillas" warm the soul on a rainy August evening.
A wet August afternoon
This afternoon is dark, wet, and chilly ~ typical of August in New England. I wanted to do something that would lift the spirits of my neighbors, as well as my own. Esperanza suggested serving chocolate pudding, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with coconut flakes. I approved and she prepared this confection with delight while I worked at inventing a magical dish for the children of our village to help create.
A brilliant flash of genius!
The idea of making pizza occurred to me, but often the process was time-consuming and labor-intensive. How could I make the project less work and leave time for more fun? The alternative would be the Mexican version of the grilled-cheese sandwich - quesadillas.
After pondering our alternatives for a few moments, a bell rang in my brain and I made a new connection. Why not make "Pizzadillas"? We'd gather ingredients for quesadillas, but use pizza cheese and Italian herbs for seasoning. As a base, we'd include marinara sauce, and at the top we'd add fillers that would normally be used as pizza toppings. The result would be an unusual, and quick, form of stuffed pizza. Esperanza loved the idea and began to create some invitations to deliver to our neighbors.
"Pizzadillas" make a quick and easy snack or dinner
An intriguing and successful idea ~
Luckily, Esperanza was carrying her tote bag as she walked from door to door to deliver invitations. She originally planned to walk to the market for some needed ingredients, but by the time all of the invitations were delivered, she did not need to. Our neighbors contributed the items we needed, and more. One family contributed a package of tortillas, and another a bag of grated Parmesan cheese. One family sent over a jar of marinara sauce, and another a package of Mozzarella cheese. One mother was in the process of making a peach pie, which she desired to share, and another mother sent over a jug of cider to warm with mulling spices ~ a perfect complement to the chocolate pudding.
When Esperanza returned home with her bag full of gifts, the children also arrived, and a house full of friends set to work creating the meal and decorating my dining room for our gathering. The cooking did not take much time, perhaps an hour or so because of the number of guests we expected. The varieties of "pizzadillas" that we made included plain cheese, pepperoni, spinach and ricotta, Hawaiian, and eggplant.
A quiet gathering of neighbors
The simplicity of the meal allowed us to put most of our creative energies into decorating my front rooms. My dining table is big and round, like the table on my patio out back, and over it we put a tablecloth with the print of van Gogh's Irises. In the middle of the table I added a tall green candle, surrounded by small, round canvases painted with sunflowers. The children created many of those. At the edges of the table, we put place settings for our guests to use.
When the rest of our guests arrived at 6pm, Esperanza played her fiddle, wearing a mask decorated with natural objects found in the woods behind us. On a side table near the entrance, there were supplies for our guests to make one of their own. The rooms were filled with a delicious aroma, and our neighbors mingled while I set out the plates full of stuffed pizza slices with various fillings. Bowls of toppings for dipping were also there, such as ricotta cheese and extra marinara sauce.
The finishing touch
After we all had our fill of dinner, Esperanza played her harp while the children helped clear the table and set out the dessert: warm cider mulled with spices, chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream and coconut flakes, and peach pie. She played on while Esperanza and the guests enjoyed the delicious treats on their plates. The children put their masks on and encouraged the adults to guess who was behind each uniquely decorated face.
At 9pm, our guests began to depart, along with the lovely masks they made. Their smiles were wide and their laughter could be heard as they walked home. Our late -summer gathering was a success.
A plate full of pizzadilla slices calling you to eat them ~
How would you like to make some "Pizzadillas"?
Working the Magic
Magical Ingredients for Making "Pizzadillas"
- 2 packages Tortillas, with 8 tortillas each
- 2 packages Shredded cheeze, special pizza combination or plain mozarella
- 1 jar Marinara sauce
- 1 container Italian herb mix
- 1 handful Optional toppings, : pepperoni, ricotta, spinach, ham and pineapple, etc.
Steps to making your own "Pizzadillas"
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Set out as many tortillas as will fit across your biggest cookie sheet. If there is enough room in your oven, use 2 cookie sheets ~ one for each oven rack.
- Spread marinara sauce over the surface of each tortilla with a spoon.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese over the marinara sauce.
- Sprinkle Italian herbs over the cheese.
- Spread optional toppings over the herbs.
- Top the layers with another tortilla.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
How much nutrition is in a single serving of Pizzadilla?
|Serving size: 4 slices of pizzadilla|
|Calories from Fat||189|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 21 g||32%|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 64 g||21%|
|Sugar 28 g|
|Fiber 12 g||48%|
|Protein 18 g||36%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
© 2012 Karen Szklany Gault
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