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Maine Shrimp Pizza with Avocado and Tomatoes

Maine Shrimp Pizza with Avocado and Tomatoes
  

Maine shrimp are back again, so when I got a request from Elise for pizza last night I knew what I was going to do. Maine shrimp are really special, and I've posted quite a few recipes about this inexpensive but delicious seasonal wild-caught delicacy (see sidebar) because they work so well in so many ways and our chances to use them are limited by their short winter season.

Maine ShrimpMaine Shrimp Recipes on Stephencooks.com:
Flounder and Shrimp Roulades;
Haddock and Maine Shrimp Stew;
California Roll Salad;
Poached Haddock in Wine Sauce with Maine Shrimp;
Maine Shrimp Boil;
Shrimp and Creamy Grits

We weren't disappointed by this attempt. The combination of the delicately flavored Maine shrimp with avocado and the sweet, flavorful grape tomatoes was perfect, and fresh mozzarella, garlic and basil added the requisite cheesy/herby notes I like in my pizza.

The crust for this pizza, by the way, was made with King Arthur Bread Flour, instead of my usual King Arthur All-Purpose, after I read Elise's post about homemade pizza the other day (thanks, by the way, to Elise for linking to one of my pizza posts, and congratulations to her too, for winning Best-in-Show in the "Best Food Blogs" awards event!) in which she tells us that bread flour will result in a crisper crust. The result was in fact crisp, but the crust was thicker, lighter and "breadier" than I like, so I'm not jumping on the bread flour bandwagon yet. I'll be making another pizza in a few days with bread flour, using less and stretching it out more to be much thinner, to see if I can get a crust that's crisp but not too bready. I might, in fact, have to do one of each, invite in some friends and have a flour-off. Stay tuned!

1/2 recipe pizza dough
3 cloves garlic, sliced
olive oil
1 T tomato paste
3/4 lb (cleaned weight) Maine shrimp, deheaded and peeled
20 grape tomatoes, sliced
1 ripe avocado, sliced
2 oz fresh mozzarella, shredded
2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded
1 oz fresh basil, shredded
salt, hot sauce to taste

After the dough has completed the second rising, spread 2 tablespoons olive oil, the garlic, the basil and the tomato paste on the shell. Sprinkle with a little salt and bake on a preheated stone at 450º for 1o minutes.

Meanwhile, wash the shrimp and dry thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and hot sauce and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil. When the pizza shell has baked for the first 10 minutes, add, in this order, the cheeses, the avocado, the shrimp and a mound of tomatoes in the center. Lower the temperature to 400º and bake another 8 minutes. Raise the temperature to the maximum available on your oven and broil for 2 minutes about 6" from the heat source, with oven door open. Keep a careful eye on the pizza during this final step and be ready to declare it done if burning threatens.

Brush the crust with olive oil and scatter on a few torn leaves of basil before slicing and serving. Fresh ground black pepper would be a nice addition, even though I can't use it myself.

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Comments

I like the look of the shrimps and avocado in your pizza. Yum! Happy New Year!

Paz

Hi Stephen,
What a wonderful combination, like shrimp ceviche on a pizza. :-)

Being the avocado fanatic I am, I cannot believe I've never made pizza with it

shall fix this problem soon enough! :-)

Great looking pizza, Stephen!

It's great to have you back, Stephen. You've been missed! I make pizza about once a week from the recipe Elise uses and and with bread flour--it is a little bread-y. My friend the BackBou (you can find his blog at http://backyardboulangerie.blogspot.com/)--a man with an actual wood-burning bread oven in his backyard he built himself--makes a slacker, wetter dough than I would have anticipated and his crusts are amazingly light and crispy (there is the bread oven factor to consider--can you detect the envy up there in Maine?). Good luck and I'm curious to see what you come up with!

So when do we do the white pizza with Maine shrimp?

Stephen,
I remember the first time I sued bread flour in a pizza crust -- it was a revelation, the best crust I'd ever eaten. But I well understand different preferences in pizza crust -- it nearly a religion.

By the way, a couple of friends and I are launching a new blog A Year in Bread in March and pizza crust will be our first project.

ah yes yes, I saw them too. I love these! Great combination of flavors!

I was planning to make a shrimp pizza later this week but I wasn't sure if I should cook the shrimp or not before I put them on the pizza - looks like they can cook on the pizza.

There's nothing like homemade and especially pizza with shrimps. I'll put it to my menu. Top recipe.

I don't know why we're always told not to combine shrimp and cheese -- it's a fabulous pairing, and looks like it makes a great pizza.

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