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Shrimp-Cilantro Pesto Pizza

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I wrote this recipe for a friend who has little experience in dealing with bread, so I thought I should post it here too. I don’t like exact measurement, except when baking, so you may find my cilantro pesto section sorely indequate, but that’s where you get to explore, right? I adapted this recipe from one on the Food Network website (Bobby Flay), and used the pizza dough recipe from Mark Bitman’s How to Cook Everything: the basics.

No picture this time 😦 camera is 6 feet under!!!

Shrimp-Cilantro Pesto Pizza (recipe sent to a friend, quoted directly from email)

pizza dough:
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of instant/rapid rise yeast
1 cup (measuring cup) of NEITHER COLD NOR WARM water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons of salt

You mix the dough, yeast and salt in a bowl, then pour in water and oil slowly. I used a food processor, but since you dont have it, just use a big wooden spoon to mix everything well. Like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikV-SnJd0oc
Then you knead it for about 5 minutes (dont overknead! pizza dough should be NOT sticky, but NOT dry either. when you fold the dough inside out, you can feel that its still a little wet, but if it sticks too much to your hands, you can add more flour as you knead.
Kneading is like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvdtUR-XTG0

After that you make it into a ball, grease a bowl (with a bit oil) and put the ball in it, plastic-wrap it and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, OR put in the fridge and let it rise overnight. After rising it should double the size. If youre not sure it’s double or not, take the dough out of the bowl, if you see some air holes on the bottom and can feel that the dough is somewhat light and airy, youre good.

After the ball is risen take it out and knead it 3,4 times on a lightly floured surface, and divide it into 2 or 3 smaller balls, cover them with wraps or damp towels and let them rest for 20 mins. Then if you have a rolling-pin you can roll it into whatever shape you want, or even use your hands. if the dough pulls back and doesnt shape, let it rest for a few minutes.
Then youre done!

Cilantro pesto:
Food-process or blinder-process or chop finely 2/3 a bunch of cilantro. You can add pine nuts or peanuts or almonds, too. Then mix them with about 1/4 cup of olive oil, and season to taste (I use garlic powder coz you dont like garlic cloves, I also use a bit of soy sauce but other people just use salt, and of course pepper. I added a dash of lemon juice for depth of flavor, you can use vinegar, or, if you like, nothing at all! :D)

Then grill some shrimp (seasoned with salt and pepper)/chiken/pork (because Alex cant eat seafood hehe but you should try shrimp, chi, its really good!). Put the pesto on the pizza first, then some slices of mozzarella cheese, a handful of grated parmesan, and then the meat. You can garnish with some cilantro leaves, too, but I’d suggest put the garnish after the pizza is done. Put the pizza in the (already preheated) oven at 500 degrees, wait till the cheese melts (about 10 mins I’d say).

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