Friday, August 3, 2012

Thin Crust Shrimp Scampi Pizza

If you like thin crust pizza and shrimp scampi, you'll love it even more when using Lavash flatbread to make a pizza! It takes only minutes to prepare and the edges become super crispy. I read this recipe on Pinterest through Care’s Kitchen blog and wasn’t even sure what Lavash was, but thought I’d give it a try since I saw Skinnytaste also using it in a flatbread pizza recipe.

Lavash is a Middle Eastern flatbread, thinner than a pita and not as doughy as Pillsbury pizza dough. You usually find in the deli section of your supermarket or you can find it at Trader Joe's for $2.29 for (6) if you have one nearby! You can use these for sandwich wraps too!

I changed some things from Care’s Kitchen and added some spinach and more garlic. I also used Trader Joe’s packaged pesto but feel free to make your own as well!

I strongly encourage you to use a pizza stone if you have one (I use the Mario Batale Pizza stone from Crate and Barrel-best wedding gift ever, thanks Lindsay Lee!), but be careful when taking that big stone out when it’s hot, I received an oven wound and burnt my thumb by accident, owwwwwwww!
  • Lavash Flat Bread
  • 4 cloves fresh Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 1 Package of frozen, peeled, deveined, tails taken off TJ’s medium shrimp (or use fresh of course if you can)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tablespoon Flat leaf Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoon chopped spinach
  • Prepared Pesto
  • 8 oz part skim Ricotta Cheese
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Red Pepper flakes (optional)

 To Prepare Pesto/Ricotta Mixture: 
Take Prepared pesto and Ricotta Cheese and mix together in a bowl until well combined and tastes delicious! Set aside.

To Prepare the Shrimp:
  1. Take thawed shrimp and marinate in EVOO, crushed garlic, red pepper flakes if you choose, and a touch of salt and pepper for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Heat a pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add shrimp with garlic/EVOO to hot pan and flash cook about 3 minutes (the shrimp do not have to be cooked all the way as they will finish cooking in the oven.)
  4. Remove from the pan and once cool enough, chop up the shrimp, set aside

 Time to make the pizza:
I know this may seem like it's a lot of instructions, but it's very simple, and after you make it once, you'll know what to do and you can use the Lavash bread with any type of pizza type that you love, ie: margherita, prosciutto, four cheese, pepperoni, etc...
Right out of the oven
  1. Place a pizza stone or cookie sheet in the middle of your oven and preheat to 425.
  2. Once it's reached temperature, place (1) piece of Lavash Flat Bread onto the stone or sheet and cook for 2 minutes.Keep in mind that when the Lavash is cooked, it has a chewy but delicate cracker consistency, so when spreading your toppings just be sure not to press too hard or it can crack – that being  said - it can handle as many toppings as you choose! 
  3. Carefully remove the Lavash Flat Bread from the oven and place on a flat surface. (watch your thumbs people!)
  4. Take a garlic clove that's been cut in half and gently rub one side of the bread with the exposed fresh garlic - all over the bread. 
  5. Brush entire bread with thin coating of EVOO
  6. Spread your pesto ricotta mixture liberally over the top (you will have a lot of this mixture, don’t use it all on one piece of bread, just make more pizzas with it)
  7. Place desired amount of prepared shrimp over the top.
  8. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top.
  9. Chop up some fresh flat leaf parsley and spinach leaves and throw onto the pizza.
  10. Add some crushed red pepper flakes if you desire a bit of heat.
  11. Drizzle Pizza with a bit more olive oil.
  12. Place pizza back in the preheated oven and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until the edges look crispy and browned.
  13. Carefully remove pizza from the oven.
  14. Add fresh shaved Parmesan as a garnish if desired.
  15. Let sit a minute or two, then cut with a pizza cutter and serve! 
These will become a household favorite! 

I made a second one with the remaining shrimp scampi ingredients and made the other half a bruschetta and mozzarella pizza, so good! Get creative!

*If you want each piece of bread to have  crispy edges all around, cut your pieces prior to placing on pizza stone in step 2

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Creamy White Chicken and Artichoke Rigatoni bake

This recipe uses a bit of a lighter alredo creamy sauce using cream cheese and milk. I came across the original lasagna recipe from Tasty Tidbits blog and since me and lasagna are still not friends since my pork lasagna roll up trial, I decided to make a casserole dish with this using rigatoni. I made this the night before so it made for a quick dinner to pop in the oven after work last night. Pretty simple and great for leftovers to snack on for next few days...

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 can (8 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 tablespoon. garlic powder
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil, chopped, divided
1 lb. Rigatoni pasta

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine chicken, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and tomatoes.
  3. Beat cream cheese, milk and garlic powder with mixer until well blended; stir in 2 Tbsp. basil. Mix half with the chicken mixture.
  4. Meanwhile, boil pot of water, cook the pasta, drain, and set aside.
  5. Spread half cream cheese mixture onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish
  6. Mix remaining cream cheese mixture with chicken mixture and pasta,cover with mozzarella; and cover with foil.
  7. Bake25 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining basil. Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve.