October 13, 2009

Gourmet Pizza Night In

I found this recipe on NYT.com and it immediately blew me away.

It reminded me of the pizza recipe I had at the Italian place up in the North End in Boston when we were there over the 4th of July.

This was an incredible pizza. It really felt like I was at a chi-chi pizza place and not my couch in front of the coffee table and television.

Huge hit all around the house (not hard since it's just me and the Hubs).

Pizza with Shrimp, Bacon and Artichoke Hearts

8 ounces fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Kosher salt
4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks
1 ball pizza dough(I used store bought dough)
Flour, for dusting
6 cooked artichoke hearts, quartered (I just used canned artichoke hearts)
4 to 6 ounces sliced semisoft Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, roughly chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Freshly cracked black pepper.

1. At least 45 minutes before cooking, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 550 degrees.
2. Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over high heat until it foams. Add the shrimp and garlic, season with salt and cook for about a minute, shaking the pan, until the shrimp just start to color. Transfer to a bowl. (since there was already so much fat with the cheese and bacon, I just cooked the bacon first, drained most of the grease and then tossed the shrimp in. I also cut up the shrimp once it was cooked.)
3. Place the bacon in the pan and set over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a small bowl.
4. Place the dough on a heavily floured surface and stretch and pull, using your hands or a rolling pin, into about a 14-inch round. Place on a lightly floured pizza peel or rimless baking sheet. Cover with the toppings, being careful not to press on the dough and weigh it down: the bacon first, then the artichoke hearts, the shrimp, the cheese and finally the oregano, leaving roughly a 1/2-inch border. Shake the pizza peel slightly to make sure the dough is not sticking. (Gently lift any sections that are sticking and sprinkle the peel with flour.) Slide the pizza directly onto the baking stone in one quick, forward-and-back motion. Cook until the crust has browned on the bottom and the top is bubbling and browning in spots, about 7 minutes. Drizzle the pie with a little olive oil and some pepper. Serve hot. Serves 2.

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