Hello and welcome to Pizza and a Movie! I put last week’s installment on pause for a day of rest and relaxation while on Tybee Island. Today I have a Buttery Shrimp Pizza with Ricotta that is reminiscent of the pizza we made last time we were here: Wild Palms Flatbread, with shrimp, corn and Calabrian chilis. Today’s pizza is a similar flatbread-style pizza with butter, garlic and thyme-poached shrimp, mozzarella, ricotta cheese and scallions. This week I have a movie from 2016 called Captain Fantastic, starring Viggo Mortensen. Sort of a Swiss Family Robinson for the 21st century, this movie had me at Viggo Mortensen.
The crust of this pizza is like a buttery, garlicky breadstick with fresh parmesan. We will lightly (very lightly) poach the shrimp in butter, fresh garlic and thyme; and then brush the entire crust with the leftover butter mixture before adding the toppings. So let’s get to the shrimp!
I have 16/20 shrimps which are on the larger side, so after peeling and rinsing them, I am slicing them in half lengthwise. I am mostly doing this because I have half a pound and want to be sure the whole pizza gets even coverage, but also because I don’t want the large shrimp to overwhelm a bite of pizza. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Over low heat melt about 3 tablespoons of salted butter with 2 large cloves of minced garlic and about one-half tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves. When the butter is melted, but not bubbling, add the shrimp. Stir to coat the shrimp in the butter and let it poach in the melted butter over the lowest heat just until the shrimp barely starts to turn opaque, then remove from heat and set aside.
I am using a pre-made pizza dough by an Austrian Company called Wewalka. I found it at the local Kroger near Tybee Island. It’s a European-style pizza dough, which seems to translate to an American-style flatbread dough. It comes rolled in a piece of parchment that you can just unroll and place on a sheet tray to top and bake.
Building the Butter Shrimp Pizza
Once the dough is rolled out and on the sheet tray, I am going to brush the entire top of the dough with the melted butter mixture we used to poach the shrimp. Brush it on straight from the saucepan. Then set the saucepan aside.
Now add the grated mozzarella cheese in an even layer, leaving about a one-inch border around all sides. Then add the shrimp, evenly on top of the cheese.
Scatter finely sliced scallions (the white and green parts) on top of the shrimp. Slice up about 4 scallions, we will use about 2/3 of the sliced scallions now, and then the last third when the pizza comes out of the oven.
Now, dollop ricotta evenly over the pizza. I like to use my fingers so I have better control over how much I am using and where it lands.
To top this off before it hits the oven, use a spoon to drizzle the remaining butter/garlic/thyme poaching sauce over the pizza.
Now we are ready for the oven! Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted. When it comes out of the oven, let it sit for a couple minutes. Then transfer it to a wire rack placed on a cutting board, to keep the bottom crisp as it cools and we add the final touches. Once it’s on the wire rack, add some fresh cracked black pepper.
Then add the remaining scallion slices.
Then using a zester, grate Parmesan over the entire pizza, taking special care to cover the crust with parmesan.
This pizza is a dream pie! The buttery, garlicky shrimp is mellowed so perfectly with the mild ricotta. The scallions add an allium bite; the shrimp is tender and bouncy, not at all overcooked. The crust held up well to all the butter, with a crispy bottom and a crunchy, chewy bite.
Movie Night: Captain Fantastic
We have our Buttery Shrimp Pizza with Ricotta ready to go, so let’s get to the movie! I saw this movie when it was first available for streaming in 2017. I really enjoyed it then, and I found it just as enjoyable the second time around. Viggo Mortensen plays Ben Cash, a father of six who retreats to the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest to raise his children off the grid and free from capitalistic culture. From the beginning we know that Ben’s wife is absent and we discover that she is hospitalized with bi-polar disorder. We see the utopian culture of physical fitness, survival, and learning Ben and his wife have created for their children. We also see the children’s frustration with their lifestyle, and their father, for keeping them from the world.
When events cause the family to re-emerge into society, we see the difficulty the family, and their extended families, has with their lifestyle. This film is funny, heartbreaking, poignant and beautiful. In my opinion, Viggo Mortensen is one of the best actors of our generation and he is truly fantastic in this role. Captain Fantastic is available to stream on Netflix, and to rent on AppleTV, Google Play, Amazon and YouTube.
Thank you all so much for joining me today for Pizza and a Movie! We had a great stay at our house on Tybee Island; we are back at home now and I have to say, while vacation is nice, it’s really great to be home – I know our pups sure think so! I will see you back here Sunday for Sunday Supper. Take care and be well, everyone. xo Kelly
Buttery Shrimp Pizza with Ricotta
Butter, garlic and thyme-poached shrimp is mellowed so perfectly with mild ricotta. Scallions add an allium bite; on a crunchy, chewy flatbread crust.
- 1/2 lb. 16/20 Wild-Caught Shrimp, peeled, rinsed and sliced in half lengthwise
- 3 tbsp. Salted Butter
- 2 Large Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/2 tbsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves
- 1 Prepared Flatbread Dough (like Wewalka)
- 1 cup Freshly Grated Mozzarella
- 3-4 Scallions, thinly sliced (divided)
- Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Over low-heat, melt salted butter with minced garlic and fresh thyme leaves. When the butter is melted, but not bubbling, add the shrimp.
Stir to coat the shrimp in the butter and let it poach in the melted butter over the lowest heat, just until the shrimp barely starts to turn opaque, then remove from heat and set aside.
Unroll the flatbread dough and place on a sheet tray. (If you're not using Wewalka Dough with the parchement lining, line the sheet tray with parchment.)
Brush the melted butter from the saucepan with the shrimp over the whole dough.
Scatter the mozzarella evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the whole pizza.
Top with the poached shrimp, scatter them evenly over the cheese.
Sprinkle 2/3 of the sliced scallions over the shrimp.
Dot the pizza with dollops of ricotta cheese.
Drizzle the remaining butter/garlic/thyme poaching sauce over the pizza.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.
Remove from oven and let sit for 2 minutes, then carefully transfer pizza (leaving parchment behind) to a wire rack to cool for another few minutes while we finish the toppings.
Sprinkle fresh cracked pepper over the pizza.
Sprinkle remaining scallion slices over the pizza.
Grate Parmesan over the entire pie, taking special care to cover the crust with the grated Parmesan.