Heart & Soul (And Easy Pizza) In The Kitchen

Clockwise, from top left: Taco; Spanish; Prosciutto-Arugula; Olive/Onion Pizzas
"Hi, I'm Jacques, and you're about to submit to my charm."
“Hi, I’m Jacques, and you’re about to submit to my charm.”

One of the most striking passages in Jacques Pepin’s absorbing Heart & Soul in the Kitchen was a simple off-hand suggestion to “use flour tortillas for a quick lunch pizza”. He mentions this and then is off and running to his next kitchen reuse/repurpose hint without letting the reader stop to ponder the potential mind-blow.

“Don’t be stupid. Flour tortillas are Mexican, and pizza is Italian,” you retort. But believe it or not, flour tortillas work and the simplicity is brilliant. A package of a dozen flour tortillas is basically a dozen mini-pizzas waiting to spring into action, along with their sidekicks Tomato Sauce Girl, Cheese Boy, and Toppings Acquaintance. Then some time in a 450º oven “until it looks like you want to eat it” and Boboli’s your uncle! My ten year old son now declares this his favorite type of pizza, so I guess I’m doomed to make it until he decides he likes something better.

tacopizzaI want to take a moment to discuss my favorite mini pie. This is my tribute to the Happy Joe’s Taco Pizza from the famously fun pizzeria chain of the Quad Cities region: tomato sauce, cheddar/jack cheese, chorizo (HJ’s uses spiced ground beef), homemade salsa, Doritos, and arugula (subbed because I didn’t have any iceberg). Yes, Doritos are a pizza topping! This is a thing to be celebrated, not feared. Nobody outside the Quad Cities seems to appreciate the wonderful creature that is Taco Pizza. It was my favorite of the bunch… and I’m determined to make everyone in Little Rock try Taco Pizza before I die.

If you prefer bready, doughy pizza crust then flour tortillas are probably not your preferred base.  And I’m probably way too excited about how this worked out for me. But for this revelation, I salute you, Mr. Pepin! May your heart and soul live long in all our kitchens.