Cookbook Throwback: Cuban Chicken Pizzas

Anyone out there still regularly cook from a cookbook? I hardly ever do – it’s just too easy to find great recipes online. Every so often I’ll check out a cookbook that looks interesting from the library and save any recipes that sound good, but that is definitely a rarity.

The other day I read an article arguing that cookbooks are on their way to extinction, even though they’re currently doing better in sales than regular books. It makes sense – you get so much more commentary and variation from recipes online, and it’s easy to access them on your smartphone while grocery shopping. Even though I agreed with the article, reading it sort of made me want to cook from a cookbook that night, so I decided to make these yummy tortilla pizzas from one of the few cookbooks I actually own. I will say, it felt nice (and slightly awkward) to be referring to a physical book when looking for the pizza’s bake time…usually that info is just a swipe away on my phone.

The article ends by saying that “in the future, cookbooks will be quirky art objects in the same sense that typewriters are today.” Maybe so, but you can’t deny the fact that they contain some pretty stellar recipes.

CUBAN CHICKEN PIZZA (adapted from Cooking Light: The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook)

4 8-inch flour tortillas
cooking spray or olive oil spray
1 1/2 cup corn
1 tsp cumin
2 chicken breasts, poached and diced
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup diced jalapenos (optional)
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp lime juice
1 cup pepperjack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Place flour tortillas on baking sheet coated with cooking spray or olive oil. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove tortillas from oven; stack tortillas and press down to flatten. Set aside.
  2. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray or olive oil. Add corn to pan and cook 2-3 minutes or until lightly charred. Add cumin and stir until well coated. Add chicken, black beans, red pepper, garlic, and jalapenos (if using). Cook 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
  3. Place tortillas on baking sheet. Spoon bean mixture over each tortilla and top with 1/4 cup cheese. Bake at 350 for 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle each pizza with cilantro.

I actually made just one of these for a night when my husband was out of town. I really liked it – though I did add extra cumin and some chili powder (obvs). Cumin and lime is such an awesome flavor combo. Also, if you were thinking of picking up a new cookbook, I really recommend this one. It has lots of simple and healthy weeknight dinner recipes, and it includes suggestions of simple side dishes to go with every recipe. Even though I’m not a traditionalist when it comes to cooking from a cookbook, this one is pretty solid.

Finally — this will be my last post for a few days. My husband and I are on our way to O’Hare now, and in a few hours we’ll be in Cancun! Not the most patriotic way to spend the Fourth of July, but we have to take vacation wherever we can get it. Happy Fourth, and look for a new recipe next Monday!

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One thought on “Cookbook Throwback: Cuban Chicken Pizzas

  1. Pingback: Shrimp in Yellow Sauce with Coconut Rice | windykitchen

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