If I've learned one thing since I started this blog last August, it's that you never know when kitchen inspiration will strike. For instance, I was taking my pre-grocery day kitchen inventory last weekend. I found a half-package of naan bread in the freezer, leftover from my Stonehouse 27 tasting last week. I loved the flavor of the naan, so I wanted to do something with it for dinner that night...but what? Then it clicked: the naan would make a PERFECT base for individual pizzas. It was even shaped like a large slice of pizza!!
I also knew that I wanted to do something other than our usual pepperoni-sausage combo that we always order out. That’s all my crazy foodie brain needed to take the ball and run with it. I asked myself what I wanted on this pizza...for some reason, shrimp immediately popped into my head. I went with it and let my imagination take over as I wandered around Central Market trying to decide what else would taste good on my naan pizzas. What I came up with was a delicious pizza that’s so simple to make that you can even whip it up on the busiest of evenings.
How does this sound: a simple homemade pizza sauce, quatro formaggi cheese blend, sautéed shallots, shrimp, fresh basil, and diced roma tomato? Do I have your attention now? Not only is this pizza totally delicious, I promise you’ll have it on the table in less time than it takes to dial up the local pizza joint and have a pie delivered. From start to finish, this pizza takes only 30-45 minutes to cook...and that includes 10-15 minutes to make your own simple sauce!
Naan Pizza with Shrimp & Sauteed Shallots
a Weekend Gourmet Original Recipe
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375, and line a large baking sheet with parchment. Make the sauce as follows. Heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add two cloves finely minced or grated garlic and sautee for about 2 minutes. Add 3 chopped basil leaves and a can of crushed tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer on med-low heat for about 15 minutes to let the flavors concentrate and some of the liquid evaporate. Add 1/3 cup half and half to the sauce at the very end and stir well.
Step 2: While the sauce is simmering, sautee the shallots. Add 1 tbs. olive oil to a small pan over med-high heat. Add 1 large sliced shallot, and a bit of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are just starting to turn golden...about 10 minutes. While the shallots are cooking, seed and dice a large roma tomato and chop 3-4 more basil leaves. Place them in small bowl, salt and pepper to taste, and set aside until it's time to assemble the pizzas.
Step 3: To assemble the pizzas, place four pieces of naan on the prepared baking sheet. Top each piece of naan with 1/4 of the sauce and a generous handful of quatro formaggi cheese blend (mozzarella, provolone, asiago, and parmesan). Then add a handful of the tomato-basil mixture, some of the sauteed shallots, and five medium shrimp. Sprinkle with seasoning of your choice. I opted to use a smoked citrus salt blend, but use whatever you have on hand.
Step 4: Bake for 15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the shrimp are cooked through. Let the pizza sit for about 5 minutes before serving. That's just enough time to whip up a quick salad and pour some drinks.
I paired these personal-size pizzas with my signature salad: field greens, sliced strawberries, super-creamy sheep feta, candied pecans, and raspberry-walnut vinaigrette. The combination of flavors on this pizza was really nice: the basil and roma tomatoes provided a nice freshness, the seasoned shrimp were plump and sweet, and the homemade sauce provided a nice basil-garlic punch. And the naan? It was pretty much a perfect pizza crust: crunchy, evenly browned on bottom, and just the right thickness for me: not too thin, not too thick. If you’re not a seafood lover, simply sub in some diced chicken breast or use a bit of prosciutto instead. Both would work great.
Before I sign off for today, I want to share some exciting news with y'all. I recently submitted my favorite impromptu party planning tip as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program's Electrolux "Are You Party-Ready?" campaign. I found out last week that my idea was selected as one of the 16 best tips. For being chosen, Foodbuzz is giving me $250 to throw a humdinger of a summer party at Casa Garcia next Saturday!!! We're having two of our closest friends and their little girl over for a casual, upscale dinner party. The menu is still in the planning stages...but I promise to share my party planning tips, recipes, and decor ideas for this party in a couple of weeks. I can't wait...