Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chipotle-Shrimp & Tomato Pizza

Last week, ML had an intense craving for Mexican food. So intense that our usual spot wasn't good enough. A Google search and some Yelp reviews later we found ourselves deep in the heart of South Philly eating what were, arguably, the best tacos we've had in a long time. But this post is not about those tacos.

Tucked away in a back corner of the restaurant were several bins of dried peppers. We're always on the lookout for quality ingredients and ML is addicted to spicy food, so naturally we walked out of there with a half pound of chipotle peppers. I mean, wouldn't you?

(Chipotles, in case you're wondering, are smoke-dried jalapeƱos with a wonderful smoky aroma and earthy, spicy flavor.)

This week, we've eaten chipotle-marinated chicken, chipotle-chorizo chile, chipotle salsa with tortilla chips, and now - you guessed it - chipotle pizza.

First, we combined all of the following ingredients to make a chipotle marinade:
  • 5 dried chipotle peppers
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
This makes way more marinade than what you'll need for the pizza, so be prepared to enjoy chipotle dishes for a while.

The pizza worked like this:
  1. Par-baked crust
  2. Thin spread of salsa verde (read the ingredients on the packaging and look for a brand of of this green tomatillo salsa that doesn't add extra unpronounceable fillers; it tastes much better with just the veggies)
  3. Grated mozzarella & Parmesan
  4. Shelled and deveined raw shrimp tossed with about 2 tablespoons of the chipotle marinade
  5. Sliced fresh tomatoes
  6. Dusting of crushed dried chipotles
Bake at 450 degrees F for about 7 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked and the crust is browned. Sprinkle on finely chopped cilantro, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and spritz with fresh lime juice.

Oh, and prepare your mouth for burning. It's a spicy one!

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