Friday, June 11, 2010

Roasted Garlic and Shrimp Pizza

Wow, it's been a little while since I "blogged" so here we go! I wrote in an earlier blog that I would share some recipes with you but looks like I haven't really done much of that so I'm going to share with you a new family favorite. This recipe is for a homemade Roasted Garlic and Shrimp Pizza, this is a white pizza.
Now, my fellow parents of picky eaters...I have 2 children who are EXTREMELY picky when it comes to food, both of them ate 2 slices of this pizza...2 slices a piece. So without further ado lets dive right in. This recipe makes one 12-15 inch pizza (depends on thick you like your crust).

You can use a store bought pizza crust if that's what you want but I wanted a rustic looking pizza so I made my own crust. I used Bobby Flay's recipe for Flat bread courtesy of if you want to use that recipe.
The ingredients you will need for the sauce recipe are as follows:
  • 1 cup of whole milk (I would not substitute this or you might have a watery sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted sweet cream butter
  • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of red (cayenne) pepper (or more if you like it spicy)
  • 4 heads of roasted garlic (the garlic takes an hour to roast so plan accordingly)
  • olive oil and salt and pepper for the garlic
  • a couple tablespoons of cornmeal to put on your pizza pan
  • about 1/2 a block (8 ounces) of cheese (if you want a plain white pizza use mozzarella, I used Colby Jack cheese for the kiddos)
  • 1/2 pound of cleaned uncooked shrimp
  • fresh chopped basil (the basil we use comes from our is an African blue basil which is slightly less sweet than the basil you buy in the supermarket)
  • fresh chopped parsley (optional, we left this out but I think it would be a great addition)

If you are making your own crust you are going to want to do that about 3 hours before you want to cook your pizza, about 2 hours into your dough process you'll want to roast the garlic to make sure everything falls into a smooth timeline. If you are using a store bought flat bread or pizza dough you'll want to roast the garlic about an hour before you're ready to set this baby up.

To roast the garlic set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then you take your 4 heads of garlic and cut the upper quarter off, rub about one teaspoon of olive oil into the top of each head of garlic then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place your heads of a garlic, cut side down, onto a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil and bake for approx. one hour, or until the cloves are golden and soft. Your house will smell amazing!! Even the kids commented on how yummy it smelled, they thought it was garlic bread or spaghetti. They should look like this when they're ready:
After they are done roasting set them aside until they are cooled down, once they're cool enough to handle carefully take out the cloves of garlic. Don't worry if they don't all come out you can squeeze the heads and a roasted garlic paste will come out. Set the bowl of garlic aside.
Now if your dough is ready go ahead and sprinkle some cornmeal on your pizza pan and start preheating your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll the pizza dough out into the size you want and place it on your pizza pan. The cornmeal will prevent it from sticking to your pan.

Now lets make the sauce.
Heat your milk in a small pan until it comes to a simmer, once it starts to gently simmer take it off the heat and put a lid on it.
In another pan (this is the pan you will make the sauce in so make sure it's deep enough) melt your butter, once it's melted down add in your flour and cook for about a minute you do not want the flour to brown, just cook it enough so that the butter and flour make a smooth paste.

Gently pour in the warm milk and whisk to combine. Add the salt and red pepper and turn up the heat to about medium high, cook the sauce until it comes to a boil and thickens up. Remove your pan from the heat and add in about 1o of your roasted garlic cloves, if you ended up with a paste add in about half of it. Tear up a handful of basil and put it into the sauce mix as well.

Pour the sauce into a blender. Make sure the lid is on securely!!!! Or you will be cleaning garlic sauce off the ceiling for a week. Blend your sauce until it's smooth. Let the sauce cool down just a tad and then pour it onto your crust. Be sure to leave a border so that the sauce doesn't run off the pizza and create a huge mess in your oven. Now slice your cheese however thin or thick you like and put the cheese down over the sauce. Take your cleaned uncooked shrimp and arrange them on top of your pizza in anyway fashion you choose. Take your remaining garlic cloves or garlic paste and sprinkle or dollop it all over your pizza.

Bake your pizza for about 8-10 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it, your pizza will be done when your crust is golden and the cheese is melted and golden brown in spots. When your pizza is down take another small handful of basil, tear it and scatter it over your pizza, you'll want to do this with the parsley too if you chose to use it.
Serve Hot! This is definitely going to become one of your favorites!

I mentioned in the listed ingredients that we used African Blue Basil, the following pictures are off my Basil plant.
The first picture there is of the blooms that grow at the top of the basil plant, I had never seen this before on regular basil. The blooms smell amazing!

As you can see the leaves have a purple/blue tinge to them. I bought this lovely culinary helper at the Fayetteville Farmer's Market. They run on Wednesday from 3-7:00 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 9:00a.m.-1:00p.m.!
The next recipe will be courtesy of our wild blackberry picking adventure..the literal fruits of our labor!