Friday, January 27, 2017

Creole Shrimp and Okra Pizza

     Mardi Gras Pizza Pie!
     Gourmet Mini Pizzas have been popular at trendy restaurants and bars for a couple of decades.  Today's gourmet pizza has a classic Louisiana style Shrimp Creole flavor.  Instead of using a standard Italian pizza sauce, a creole tomato style pizza sauce was the best choice.  The Creole Pizza Sauce is not really a true Creole Tomato Sauce recipe, because it had to be modified so it would withstand pizza oven conditions.  The shrimp and okra toppings were cooked in the sauce to increase flavor.
     When I make a batch of pizza dough, I usually make enough dough for a few mini pizzas and some bread too.  Three mini pizzas and a dozen slider burger rolls is what I baked with this single batch of dough.  Pizza dough is the same thing as Italian bread dough.  Focaccia dough can also be used as pizza dough.
     Pizza Dough:
     Follow this link to the pizza dough recipe in this website:
     • Pizza Dough
     Creole Shrimp and Okra Pizza Sauce:  
     This recipe yields almost 2 cups (1 1/4 cups of sauce with about 1 1/2 cups of cooked shrimp and okra toppings).  (This is enough for a small 10" to 12" pizza)
     This Creole Tomato Sauce is made like a pizza sauce.  Many of the ingredients that are supposed to be in a Creole Tomato Sauce are omitted, because they are used as toppings on the pizza.
     Step 1:  Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 3 cloves of minced garlic.
     Saute till the garlic turns a golden color.
     Step 2:  Add 1/4 cup of tomato paste.
     Add 1/3 cup of canned crushed tomatoes.
     Add 2 tablespoons of minced celery.
     Add 1/2 cup of shrimp broth.
     Add 1/4 cup of dry white wine.
     Whisk the sauce, so the oil and butter combines.
     Step 3:  Add 1 pinch of tarragon.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 1 pinch of basil.
     Add 2 pinches of thyme.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.  (Or adjust the amount to taste.)
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 4:  Bring the sauce to a simmer.
     Add 3/4 cup of thick sliced fresh okra.
     Add 20 peeled medium size shrimp.  (Remove the tails for this recipe.)
     Simmer and reduce till the shrimp are fully cooked and the sauce till is a medium thin consistency.
     Step 5:  Remove the pan from the heat
     Use a slotted spoon to scoop the okra slices and the shrimp out of the creole pizza sauce and place them in a container.
     Set the sauce and cooked toppings aside and let them cool to room temperature.
     Creole Shrimp and Okra Pizza:
     This recipe yields 1 mini 10" to 12" pizza.  
     *A mini pizza is usually 10" to 12" in diameter.  A portion of dough for mini pizza weighs 6 to 8 ounces, depending on how thick you prefer the crust.  A 5" to 6" round dough ball portion is plenty for a mini pizza.
     Step 1:  Place a mini pizza portion of the pizza dough on a floured counter top.
     Pat the dough out with your fingertips, till it becomes a flat round mini pizza shape.
     *A rolling pin or the stretching method can also be used to shape the dough.
     Step 2:  Place the shaped mini pizza dough on a lightly oiled pizza pan.
     *If necessary, pat the dough into a flat round pizza shape again.
     Brush the mini pizza dough with olive oil.
     Step 3:  Place the pan in a 400ºF oven.
     Par bake till the dough rises and becomes firm.  (The par baked pizza crust should only be a white color at this time.)
     Step 4:  Remove the pizza pan from the oven.
     Use a spoon to spread the Creole Pizza Sauce on the par baked mini pizza crust.
     *Start at the center of the pizza, and spread the sauce out to the edge of the crust.  Be sure to leave a bare crust border that is about 1/2" wide.
     Step 5:  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mixed grated mozzarella and grated provolone cheese on the pizza.
     Sprinkle 1/4 cup of diced red bell pepper on the pizza.
     Sprinkle 1/4 cup of diced green bell pepper on the pizza.
     Sprinkle 1/2 cup of diced onion on the pizza.
     Sprinkle 1 thin sliced green onion on the pizza.
     Step 6:  Arrange the reserved cooked shrimp on the pizza.
     Arrange the reserved cooked okra slices on the pizza.
     Step 7:  Sprinkle about 1 cup of mixed mozzarella and provolone cheese over the pizza toppings.  (The amount of cheese is a matter of personal preference!)
     Sprinkle 2 pinches of chopped curly leaf parsley over the pizza.
     Step 8:  Place the pizza back into the 400ºF oven.
     Bake till the cheese melts and the vegetable toppings are cooked till they are aromatic.
     *Only bake till the cheese melts!  Do not bake the pizza for too much time or the shrimp will dry out.   
     Step 9:  Remove the pizza pan from the oven.
     Use a pizza cutting wheel to cut the pizza into 4 to 6 pie shaped slices.
     Slide the sliced pizza onto a serving platter.
     Hoo Lawdy!  A tasty Creole Shrimp and Okra Pizza for Mardi Gras!

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