Friday, August 9, 2013

Fast Friday: Shrimp & pesto pizzas

By the time this post goes up, I will have been awake for nearly 3 hours.  Even for an early bird, a 5:00 wake-up is a little rough.  I wanted to be awake to see Matt off for his guys' beach trip.  We checked his list twice and made sure he packed the big batch of cookies I made for the guys.  The things we do for love, right? :)

One thing I rarely do -- even for love -- is share my food.

Before you think I'm a total grinch, let me explain.  I love sharing dishes that are planned to be shared at the time of ordering.  And I regularly offer my dining companion(s) a bite of whatever I ordered for myself.  After all, food is love!

But that's where it stops.  You get one bite, sweetheart.  One.  Enjoy it.  Savor it.  Because the rest is mine.  Um, unless I'm full before my food is gone.  Then, have at it, friend!

Anyway, nothing drives me crazy quite like Matt someone reaching my plate and stealing food because he likes my dish better.  No, sir!  Keep your filthy paws to yourself.

That's why individual desserts like cupcakes are so popular.  Who, in their right mind, would try to split a cupcake?!  It's wonderful to have a treat just for you, be it sweet or savory.

Which is why these personal shrimp and pesto pizzas were such a hit!  Pizza Fridays are back.

I started by making a batch of my favorite dough that would normally make one large pizza but quartered it.  I used two and froze two for another time.

I kept it simple with toppings -- fresh mozzarella and a few shrimp -- because I really wanted the flavor of the pesto to dominate.  This combo was unbelievable!  Tender perfectly-cooked shrimp with melted cheese and fragrant basil and olive oil on a thin and crispy crust.  Totally hit the spot!

The best part about these little pizzettes?  Since we each had our own, I was able to indulge my ravenous post-workout self and make mine first without waiting until Matt returned much later than night from practice.

Oh, and I should also mention that it's a pretty awesome feeling eating an entire pizza by yourself, but doing so without any regret.  Each little pizza is 1/4 of a normal pizza, which is a standard serving size.  Guilt-free pizza for the win!  Is there a better way to start a weekend?

Wishing you a guilt-free and grand weekend.  Happy Friday!

Two years ago: Chocolate vanilla marble cake
Three years ago: Glazed mini lemon cakes

Individual Shrimp and Pesto Pizzas
-makes 2 small pizzas

A few notes: If only using half of the dough like I did, divide in half after rising and freeze in a resealable plastic bag for later use.  Frozen dough can be moved to fridge the morning of the day you plan to use it to thaw in time for dinner that evening.  Also, if fresh mozzarella isn't your style, shredded will work just as well.

1/2 pound pizza dough (I used this easy recipe)
Cornmeal, if using pizza stone
Olive oil
1/4 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought
2/3 pound raw shrimp, cleaned, deveined, and tails removed
2-3 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with pizza stone on low rack.  (If not using a stone, place a large baking sheet in oven instead.  Precut a piece of parchment paper to fit baking sheet onto which you'll later assemble pizzas.)

On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into two equal parts and roll out to roughly 8-9 inch rounds.  Dust pizza peel or parchment paper with cornmeal and transfer dough to it.  Brush edges of dough with olive oil.  Spread 2 Tablespoons of pesto onto dough as the sauce.  Top with sliced cheese and shrimp, seasoning with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using).

Carefully and quickly transfer pizza from peel to stone.  (If using baking sheet, remove from oven to a wire rack, transfer pizza on parchment paper to baking sheet and return to oven.)  Bake for 10 minutes or until crust begins to turn golden and cheese is melted and bubbly.  Remove and allow to rest for a few minutes.  Cut, devour, and enjoy!

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