Saturday, February 16, 2013

Shrimp Scampi Pizza

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Here's a real gem from my past...
A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to live in St Thomas in the US Virgin islands for 6 months

Cooking was interesting (VERY expensive ingredients and a lesser equipped kitchen); but I like to think I wa up to the challenge.

Here's a post from my "old" blog remembering warmer days...

Oh My... Looks so good, I want to show this twice...

And what does Scampi mean... GARLIC.  Lots and lots of GARLIC (and butter)!

Look at all that sautéed GARLIC and shrimp!  But, I am way ahead of myself.

As I've been saying for the last few days, no more island food shopping for me.  Whatever is in the fridge and pantry is what I am cooking.  We leave for Kansas on Saturday.  I want an empty pantry on moving day.

And I want to make the best dish I can with what I have.

I had Pizza dough.  I have been making a set (6 bags) of dough almost every week I have been here.  Back in early March (seems like years ago), I first made a batch of PIZZA STYLE FOCACCIA BREAD from the book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  The recipe makes incredible dough.  The dough comes out just a bit chewy from the yeast combining with the cold water used to make the dough.  Yet it crisps up so well.  A perfect thin crust pizza.  I have 3 bags of the dough in the freezer.  Now, only 2 (and I have plans for them).

I have garlic.  I always have garlic.

I had a little tomato sauce left from an earlier project.

And those bags of frozen shrimp are always in my freezer.  They are cheap, store easy and are just so handy. If you check my archives from the last 6 months, I would guess that there are more shrimp dishes than anything else.  With pizzas being a close second.

All that's missing was the cheese.  And I happened to have half a ball of Mozzarella rolling around the now empty bottom of my cheese drawer (I have a brick of Parmesan left, so stay tuned for that).

And a little sprinkle from my baggie of "Not your Grandmother's Herbes de Provance" , and I have a pizza... A very very good pizza.

Here's what I did...

1/2 pound of small salad size Shrimp (thawed)
8 Large Shrimp (also thawed)
2 TBS Butter
1 whole head of garlic, minced
1 portion of Pizza Dough (thawed)
1/4 cup of tomato sauce
4 ounces of sliced Mozzarella Cheese
3 pinches of "Not your Grandmother's Herbes de Provance", an herb mixture

The only tricky part is the timing of adding the shrimp.  The bagged shrimp has already been cooked.  So you want to add this as a topping at the very last minute.  DO NOT ADD THIS WHEN THE PIZZA GOES IN THE OVEN.  It is a topping to go on the cheese after the cheese pizza has been cooked.  If you sauté the shrimp, and then bake them, they will be tough and chewy.

OK, here's what I did...

Have everything thawed before you start.  the shrimp should be thawed and dried with a paper towel to get as much of the liquid out as possible.

But first, build your pizza...

I have a flat cast iron skillet that i use as a pizza stone.  Works great.  Preheat it on the stove top while you form the round dough, spread the pizza sauce and top with the sliced mozzarella.

Pop this in a preheated oven (435 degrees) for 12 minutes.

While that is cooking, quickly smash the garlic, mince it and begin sauteeing in the butter...

You want to let the butter and garlic flavor each other for a full 5 minutes.  By that time, most of the butter will be reduced and absorbed into the garlic.  Then and only then, add the shrimp.

Remove from the heat, and do that pan flipping thing that looks so cool on TV until everything is well coated.  Let it sit.

While it sits for a couple of minutes, a lot of the water still in the shrimp will drain.  Get rid of the water.  If you don't, your pizza dough will get soggy.  That would be bad.

At the end of the 12 minutes, pull the pizza out of the oven, and spread the shrimp/garlic mixture on the melted cheese.  I used a lot of the mini shrimp to make a bed, and then topped with the larger ones as a garnish.  So, when I sliced the pizza, each slice got a whole large shrimp, resting in the center of a bed of teh tiny shrimp... It was pretty!

Sprinkle a little of the herbs over everything and you are set.  Because the shrimp are hot from being in the sautéed butter and garlic, no need for additional heating.

You are done!

It's a garlic Shrimp Scampi... with some sauce and cheese, resting on a bit of dough...

It's just a meal made from what was in the back of my fridge.  What can you do with what's in the back of your fridge?

Hope you all are enjoying your summer... Jackie and I will be back in just a few days, so we are enjoying as much as we can...

Reminds me of back to school time, so here's my favorite photo of a school of fish.


1 comment:

  1. This looks awesome, I love when we can create dishes with what we have on hand! Good luck with your move!