Culinary Tips with CookingPlanit
Thanks to the folks at CookingPlanit.com, you no longer have an excuse to not host that dinner party this weekend. The food planning website gives everyone – from first time cooks to professional chefs — the opportunity to prepare healthy meals with simple step by step instructions. Users can choose from a long list of detailed recipe options and replicate them using the ingredients they have in their own kitchens.
Emily Wilson, the “Resident Food Wizard” at CookingPlanit, is the mastermind behind some of the site’s most popular dishes. Along with providing innovative meals for the website, Wilson sought out to make the cooking process as simple as possible for novice chefs by focusing on thorough procedures. “When you’re watching a cooking show for example, they’re giving you real life demonstrations,” says Wilson. “We tried to take that idea of real life instruction and include it in step-by-step instructions [on the website].”
Try out one of Wilson’s favorite recipes, Mexican Tortilla Pizza, below and many others on CookingPlanit.
- Fresh Lime Juice (3 tablespoons)
- Iceberg Lettuce (1 ½ cups)
- Green Onion (1/2 cup)
- Roma Tomatoes (2)
- Cheddar Cheese, shredded (2 cups)
- Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded (2 cups)
- Sour Cream (3/4 cup)
- Black Olives, sliced (1/3 cup)
- Refried Black Beans, canned (1 can, 14 ounces)
- Enchilada Sauce (1/2 cup)
- Chili Powder (2 teaspoons)
- Garlic Powder (1 teaspoon)
- Paprika (1 teaspoon)
- Cumin (1/2 teaspoon)
- Kosher Salt
- Vegetable Oil (1/2 cup)
- Flour Tortillas, 8” (8 toritllas)
1. Cut the root end off the head of lettuce. Stand upright on this flat end and cut in half down the center. Remove the core from 1 half, lay it flat and slice crosswise into long strips. Cut strips into 1/2 inch pieces to measure the indicated amount.
2. Cut the ends off the green onions and peel away any loose or damaged outer layers. Rinse under cold water and dry thoroughly. Thinly slice the green onions to measure the indicated amount.
3. Core the tomatoes and cut into 1/4 inch dice.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sour cream, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and lime juice. Season with salt, then refrigerate until ready to use.
5. Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Pour in vegetable oil so the bottom of the pan is covered in an even layer, then let warm.
6. Set a baking rack on top of a sheet pan, then set near the stove for the cooked tortillas.
7. Once oil is warm, add a tortilla. Oil should sizzle when tortilla is added. Press the tortilla down with a spatula as it cooks, flattening any bubbles that form. Once edges turn golden brown, flip and cook until the other side is also golden brown and tortilla is crispy, about 1-2 minutes total. Transfer cooked tortilla to baking rack and sprinkle with salt while warm. Repeat with all tortillas. If oil seems too hot, remove pan from heat for a few minutes to let cool in between batches.
8. Preheat the broiler on high.
9. To build the “pizzas,” place half the tortillas on a clean sheet pan. Spread an even layer of refried black beans on top of each one, being careful not to crack the crispy tortilla. Scatter 2 tablespoons of tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of green onion over the black beans.
10. Spread the sour cream mixture over the remaining tortillas, being careful not to crack the tortillas. Flip these over and place on top of the tortillas with black beans, green onion and tomatoes.
11. Spread enchilada sauce evenly over the top of each Mexican tortilla pizza. Also sprinkle cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese over the top, and divide the black olives and remaining green onion over the cheese.
12. Place the tortilla pizzas under the preheated broiler and cook until the cheese is melted, about 3-5 minutes.
13. After pizzas are out of the broiler, scatter the chopped lettuce evenly over the top of each, then cut into quarters.
14. Transfer the Mexican tortilla “pizzas” to each dinner plate and serve warm.