Monday, March 17, 2008

Appetizer for a classy karaoke party

Can you call a karaoke party classy even if it involves a plastic Hannah Montana microphone and tequila shots? I'd like to argue yes, since this particular one also offered panko and pistachio crusted salmon, perfectly cooked asparagus and green beans, and cake served with berries and a lake of butterscotch sauce. My contribution to all this was an improvised kind of pizza, the result of having leftover fresh corn tortillas in the fridge and wanting something both easy to eat with one hand and tasty paired with the aforementioned tequila. Here it is:

Mini Mexican Pizzas
[inspired by the Pizza Verde recipe in the Rebar cookbook]
30 small corn tortillas (about 4" in diameter)
1 recipe Rebar cilantro pesto (see below)
1 lb oyster mushrooms
1 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
3 poblano chilis
handful of cherry tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
salsa verde, to garnish (I often buy this canned – the Embassa brand is good)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush both sides of tortillas lightly with olive oil. Lay out on a cookie sheet (working in batches) and bake for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden and crispy. Set aside to cool. [Note: this step can be completed up to a day ahead of time. Store in an airtight bag or container until ready to use.]

2. Roast poblano peppers – placing the whole peppers directly on the oven rack – in a 350 degree oven for 15–20 minutes. This can be done at the same time as you bake the tortillas. Turn the peppers with tongs as they cook, until they are somewhat blackened on all sides. Remove and place in an airtight container or plastic bag. Let rest for at least 15 minutes, then peel skin off, discard seeds, and chop the peppers into smallish strips.

3. Slice the oyster mushrooms into bite-sized pieces (the smaller ones can be left whole, larger ones should be halved or quartered). Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-hight heat. Saute mushrooms for several minutes, then add the garlic and cook until mushrooms are soft and tasty. Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar, cook until it evaporates, and season lightly with salt and pepper.

4. Just before serving, assemble the pizzas. Recruit a friend to help, so it's super quick and easy (thanks Alisha!). Spread each pizza with pesto, then scatter on pepper strips, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes, and top with feta. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes, or until feta is slightly melty and everything is warmed. When serving, drizzle a bit of salsa verde on each pizza, or provide it in a dish for people to self-administer.

5. Eat repeatedly until you have enough energy to sing “Billie Jean” really badly while pretending to be a teen sensation.

Cilantro Pesto
[adapted slightly from the Rebar cookbook]
2 bunches cilantro, washed well and spun out in a salad spinner, thick stems removed
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1 jalepeno pepper, including seeds
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup grated romano cheese (could also use asiago or parmesan)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and process for a minute or two, then slowly pour in olive oil with motor running. Process until it's smooth enough to spread on pizza.


Laura said...

Meg, this post is hilarious! I never thought I'd see the day when Hannah Montana would make it into our blog, but there she is, in all her pink/sparkly resplendance. It was a classy karaoke party - I think, one of our most successful food forays recently. Mm, so good. Flora was just telling me she would eat that sauce Raisa made with the lemon and mayo with everything if she could. Cake, for example!

Those pizzas were indescribably good. Have I tried to describe how good they were recently? Say, in the past five minutes? I feel like I ate half of them! But they were just amazing, it wasn't my fault. I do love me some cilantro! And those oyster mushrooms were amazing too. Good job!

moyrad said...

Thanks Meg! These corn tortilla pizza were great - so savory. I admit I ate about 10 of these - they were addictive.

Thanks to Craig and Raisa for making the delicious entree and sides and to Flora for dessert.

Not to mention the drinks we concocted...

Laura said...

Oh yeah, drinks!