Saturday, May 4, 2013

Quick Meals - BBQ Black Bean Pizza Sauce

In my mind, there are two things that make or break a pizza. The sauce and the cheese. If you get these two elements right, then the pizza will be good. The cheese is fairly self-explanatory - above all it needs to melt well. The sauce has to be the right amount of tangy, and there needs to be a decent enough amount of it. Normally I will make my own sauce out of passata, herbs, chilli and salt and pepper, but I was in the mood for something a bit different. Knowing I wanted pizza for dinner, and that we had a leftover steak from the night before that had been marinated in a Spur's Grill Basting that was going to form the meat portion of the toppings, I thought a BBQ pizza sauce was the go.

Lately, one of my favourite things to make is bean dips. Usually chick peas, white beans or a combination of the two are my go-to canned goods for dips. Just throw a tin in the food processor with a touch of oil, then some flavouring ingredients (sun-dried tomatoes, chilli and Italian herbs is a favourite) and you've got a delicious dip for pop-around visitors. I thought I'd use this as a base for my pizza sauce to ramp up the vege content of dinner without overloading the pizza with too many ingredients. The hickoryness of the sauce made me think more of Southern and Mexican style dishes, so I figured black beans was more the go.

I always have some Lebanese loaves in the freezer for use as pizza bases, but feel free to use whatever base you choose. The toppings were simple, and what I had to hand - steak, corn kernels, zucchini and jalapanenos. These are all interchangeable - remember, it's all about the sauce and the cheese. And the cheese I had was a Provolone. Most of the cheeses I use for cooking are made by Borrello Cheeses. I'm particularly fond of their romano, pecorino, provolone and bocconcini. Provolone melts perfectly and is my go-to pizza cheese.

The resulting pizza was amazing. A tangy, thick and creamy tasting sauce topped with freshly shaved provolone cheese. Add a glass of red wine, and it's the perfect cold night after a long day at work's meal. Notice the paper-lined trays - dishwasher still not replaced!

BBQ Black Bean Pizza Sauce
(makes 4 individual pizzas)
1 tin black beans
3/4 cup BBQ sauce of your choosing (I used Spur's Grill Basting, but would recommend any hickory flavoured one)
4 lebanese loaves
1 steak, cooked to your liking and thinly sliced
Half zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup corn kernels
4 jalapenos, thinly sliced
1/2 Provolone cheese, thinly shaved

In a processor, blend the tin of black beans and BBQ sauce. Check for seasoning and consistency. It should be spreadable.

Spread a thick layer onto your lebanese loaves. Preheat oven to 180C.

Scatter over your chosen toppings, add cheese last.

Cook for 20 minutes or so until cheese is golden and melted.