Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pizza Time!

  You know how the Hawthornes love their pizzas!

 Well, today, Rosie is going in a different direction with pizza.
Forget the pepperoni and the tomato sauce.
Today, it's shrimp and  Rosie's Alfredo sauce.

First, I started on my pizza dough.  I sprinkled one packet of yeast onto 1/2 cup warm water and added a teaspoon of sugar.  Stir to dissolve and let the yeast "proof."  When it gets bubbly and foamy, the yeast has "proved" it is alive.  It's ready to use now.
Add in another 1/2 cup of water and start adding in bread flour, 1/4 - 1/2 cup at a time, stirring with a fork, until the dough comes together and you're able to turn it out onto a lightly floured surface
and knead it.  You'll need about 2 cups of bread flour.  It's not exact.  Depends on humidity, religious affiliation, tides, moon cycles ...  When you make enough bread, you'll know by the feel. 
I'll knead my bread about ten minutes, then place it in an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled.
While the dough was rising, I prepared the toppings.  And I'm making this up as I go along, which is the way Rosie rolls.

Sliced mushrooms and coarsely chopped spinach.
I sautéed the mushrooms in unsalted butter until lightly browned.
Then I added just a little water and ...

... threw in the spinach.

Cover, let it steam for a few seconds,
then remove from heat and let spinach wilt.
Set aside while you work on the rest of the pizza.

Pizza dough has risen.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface.

Just three Hawthornes here tonight,
so I halved the dough and saved one half to bake bread.

Cover and refrigerate the dough for bread.
Knead the remaining pizza dough for a few minutes, 
then let it rest about 15 minutes.

I sprinkled cornmeal over my pizza paddle
before I started spreading out my dough.
The cornmeal acts as little ball bearings
and the pizza pie will slide right off the plank.

Gently work the dough, stretching it, letting it dangle, and rotating.
Form the dough into a circle, pressing to spread it out.
Let it rest a bit.  Dough likes to rest.
While the dough is napping, drink a glass of wine.
Keep pressing, resting, and drinking
until the dough is very thin.
I like a thin crust.
If you like a thick crust,
make it thicker.
Let the dough rise while you start on the fixin's.

As I said, I'm foregoing the pepperoni and tomato sauce
and going for shrimp and white sauce.
Shell however many shrimp you want, set aside,
and concentrate on the shells.
Lightly sauté the shrimp shells in butter, about 5 minutes,
pressing with a wooden spatula to crack the shells.

 Add a little wine to deglaze and scrape up the goodie bits.
That's the brown stuff stuck to the bottom of the pan.
And it's all flavor.

Strain through a chinois.

Press to get all those juices and flavor out.
Discard the shells.
Their destiny has been fulfilled.

I ended up with 1/2 cup of shrimp stock.

As I said, I like a thin crust pizza,
so I don't let the dough rise all that much.
Prick the dough so you won't get bubbles when you brown it.

Lightly brown the pizza dough.
450° oven.

That brown spot at the top is where my dough was too thin.

Now I'm starting on my Alfredo Sauce.
Rosie's Alfredo Sauce
2 TB butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shrimp stock
buerre manié, to thicken
 freshly ground pepper
Melt butter, add cream, and heat over medium low for 3 minutes.
Drop in Parmesan cheese and let melt.
Add shrimp stock and stir to combine.
The sauce will be too thin for the pizza right now,
so we need to thicken it up.
That's where the beurre manié comes in.
It's a quick way to thicken any sauce.
Beurre manié is "handled butter."
Softened butter is kneaded with an equal amount of flour to make a paste.
If you just add flour to your sauce, it's going to clump.
With a buerre manié, you add it to the hot sauce, stirring.
The butter melts and separates, evenly dispersing the flour particles,
which absorb liquid, swell, and thicken the liquid.
The added bonus here is that the butter enriches the sauce.

Beurre manié is a good tip to know
if you decide you want a thicker sauce at the last minute
or if you have a sauce that thicken as much as you expected.

 Add in the shrimp stock.

Mix equal amounts of flour and butter to combine thoroughly.

Drop beurre manié into the sauce,
cooking and stirring over medium low until thickened.
Set aside.

Farnese Parmigiana Reggiano we found at WalMart.
And Mr. Hawthorne's roasted red peppers he canned.
I wanted some red on the pizza,
so I have roasted red peppers and red onion.

Sprinkle some Old Bay Seasoning over the shrimp.

Heat 1 TB peanut oil and 1 TB unsalted butter until sizzling.
Medium high heat.
Drop in shrimp.

When still translucent ...
... pour in some white wine.
 Maybe 1/3 cup.

Cook shrimp until almost done.
Remember, this is going to be baked on the pizza,
so the shrimp will finish cooking in the oven.

Spread a thin layer of the white sauce over top.

I had previously steamed some fresh garden spinach.
Chop and squeeze out the water.

Add the spinach and some sautéed sliced mushrooms

Chopped red onions.

I went out to the garden to pull up some lovely spring onions.


Shrimp is ready to go on.

Cover with Provolone cheese.

Bake in 450° oven until cheese is lightly browned.

This was quite a nice diversion from our usual pizzas.

Succulent shrimp, spinach, mushrooms, roasted red peppers,
and a rich, shrimpy cheese sauce.

I love pizza.


Catherine said...

Dear Rosie!! One word to describe your pizza, "mouthwatering" !
Have a great weekend. xo Catherine

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thank you, Catherine. Always nice to hear from you!