Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ron’s Seafood Pesto Pizza

Get ready for an extra-special treat! Ron created the topping recipe for this decadently delicious pizza. It makes a great casual dinner for four-to-six people, or - cut into 3x3” pieces - a terrific hot appetizer for those afternoons when you just want to kick back and watch TV. Ron uses a Westbend bread machine to make the dough for this superb pizza, but any quality brand will do. You can also make this recipe without a bread machine, following the method you would normally use to make bread. 

The double-crust dough recipe that follows makes the base for a 13x18” pizza. If you’re a traditionalist, two large pizza pans will do just fine. However, using a rectangular cookie sheet will allow you to cut more appetizer serving-sized pieces. My cooking is good - but not as good as Ron’s! This truly is one of my favorite recipes! 

Ron’s Seafood Pesto Pizza:
To Prepare the Bread Machine Pizza Dough:
1 ¼ cups +1 tbsp. lukewarm water, 80-95 deg. F.
4 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2-½ tsp. active dry yeast (or 2 tsp. bread machine yeast/fast-rise yeast)
Cornmeal (to sprinkle over baking sheet)
In the order listed, add all ingredients except yeast to bread pan. Tap pan to settle ingredients; level ingredients to push some of the mixture into corners. Make a well in centre of dry ingredients; add yeast. Lock pan into bread maker. Program bread machine for “dough” setting and turn on. (Check your bread machine’s Use and Care book to determine how long this step will take. The model of Westbend bread machine we have requires 1 hr. and 40 min. I formerly used another brand of bread machine in which the “dough” setting took 2 hr.) 

When dough is ready, place on floured work surface, kneading one minute; kneading pizza dough much longer will destroy the air bubbles that lighten the dough. Let dough rest 15 minutes. Roll out to fit 13x18” rimmed cookie sheet. Sprinkle sheet with corn meal. Slip dough onto greased sheet, pressing edges to fit, forming an edge. Cover dough with a clean cloth, allowing it to rise in a warm, draft-free place 20-25 minutes.
To Prepare the Pizza Topping:
⅔ c. commercially prepared tomato sauce (Ron uses “roasted garlic” flavor)
14-oz. pkg (400 g) Mozzarella cheese, grated
5-6 medium cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz. (250 g) peeled, medium-size, uncooked shrimp (double seafood quantity if making appetizer-size portions)
3-½ oz. (100 g) uncooked scallops, cut into ½” pieces  (double seafood quantity if making appetizer-size portions)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into ½” chunks 
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped into ½” chunks
⅔ c. pesto
Spread tomato sauce evenly over crust. Sprinkle with three-quarters of grated Mozzarella cheese. Evenly spread the garlic, shrimp, scallops, and bell peppers over pizza. Dollop pesto here and there, evenly over pizza. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese. Bake in preheated 410 deg. F. oven for 25-30 min., until dough is blistered and golden and topping appears bubbly and lightly browned. Allow to rest 5 min. before cutting.
This will be the best pizza you've ever tasted!
Note: This recipe makes one thick-crust pizza in the pan size Ron used. Spreading the dough between two large pizza pans will result in a thinner crust. If you do that, bake each at 425 deg. F. for 10-12  min. on your oven’s upper and middle racks. Never bake pizza below the middle rack; your oven’s uppermost racks provide the hotter temperature pizza needs. For a more flavorful crust, remove pizza from oven midway through baking, quickly brushing the edges of the crust with olive oil infused with minced garlic.
Note: Allow three hours from start to finish for this recipe, from to making the dough to assembling the filling.

Assemble your ingredients ...

Spread thin layer of tomato sauce
Spread 2/3 cheese over the tomato
Sprinkle on topping ingredients

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