This pizza is my attempt to recreate the last remaining pizza that I actually want to go out for. Bertucci’s shrimp bella venezia (or maybe it’s the other one, I get the names confused). It’s not exact, but boy is it good. I always use Artisan Bread in 5 dough for my pizza crust. Either the master recipe or the semolina dough are usually what I have on hand. It makes making pizza quicker and easier than ordering out (not to mention better and cheaper). I go through phases with different favorite pizza’s, and they’re a great way to use up leftovers, a little bit of this, a little bit of that can turn into a perfect pizza. This is my current pizza of the month. It’s nice with white wine (though not the fizzy disgusting wine we opened last night – that wouldn’t be good with anything).
Before going into the oven: note the chili brine all over the shrimp. That’s good.
4 oz. cream cheese
1Tbsp. cream or milk
2 Tbsp. sour cream
2 cloves garlic crushed
juice of 1/4 lemon (juice the half and then put it in to taste)
zest of one half a lemon
Pepper – more than you think you want (lemon pepper is good too)
2 tbsp. grated romano cheese (optional)
15-20 brined shrimp*
1 jarred roasted pepper (I used piquillo peppers)
Brine the shrimp and preheat the oven to 425 or 450, with a pizza stone in the bottom if you have it.
Mix the cream cheese, cream,sour cream, garlic, lemon zest and juice, romano cheese, pepper and salt together with a hand mixer.
Heat some olive oil in a pan and briefly toss the drained (but not rinsed) shrimp. They won’t be fully cooked, you still want them a little translucent. They’ll finish cooking on the pizza. The shrimp will give off some liquid. You can either stir this into the cheese mixture or drizzle it over the top. You want this to be used, it’s fantastic flavor.
Roll out the pizza dough to the desired shape, drizzle with olive oil and spread on the cheese mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese and shrimp. Tear the roasted red pepper into small pieces and scatter them atop the pizza. Grind some more pepper over the top.
Bake for about 10 minutes until bubbling and crisp.
*brining shrimp: I always brine my frozen shrimp in a mixture of 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup chili powder (mc cormack's in a giant bottle from BJ's) and 1/2 c. diamond kosher salt in my big white bowl (I think it holds 10 cups of water) Use hot water, throw in the frozen shrimp and wait 20 min. Drain, but don't rinse. . . there will be chili powder left on the shrimp. For this recipe you can scale it down a bit, you only need about 15 or 20 shrimp.