Mojo de Ajo Pizza with Shrimp and Bacon
For the Mojo de Ajo sauce:
2 small, or one large dried Arbol chili, de-seeded and crushed fine in a spice grinder or mortar, (1 tablespoon) 8 large garlic cloves, (1.8 ounces) Juice from two tangerines 1 Tablespoon Mexican oregano 1 Roma tomato, cut into quarters ½ fresh Serrano pepper, cut in half, (.04 oz) 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
Place all ingredients except olive oil, in the food processor, blend on high for 30 seconds. Slowly add ¾ cup extra- virgin olive oil, in a stream until incorporated into the sauce. Blend for another 30 seconds. The sauce will have a pale orange color. Let this sit in refrigeration for at least 3 hours. If you wait for 24 hours, the chilies will meld with the garlic and oil into a spectacularly hot and complex sauce.
For the shrimp:
3 ounces of smoked bacon, (two whole, thick-cut strips) 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 20 shrimp of the 31/40 weight, (shelled, tail off and de-veined) ¼ teaspoon ground cumin ¼ teaspoon salt
Cut the bacon rashers into inch wide and tall pieces, (total approximately 14 pieces) Using a very hot cast iron skillet, place the olive oil in the pan and toss the bacon for only 30 seconds, this will par cook the bacon and leave flavor in the pan. Remove bacon and set aside. Lay shrimp flat on a cutting board, insert the 4–5-inch bamboo skewers lengthwise down the shrimp from top to the tail. (If the skewer comes out to early, don’t worry as long as most of the shrimp is straight.) Push the first shrimp up the skewer and continue with a second shrimp until the skewer is full. Repeat this until all 20 shrimp are skewered. Re-heat the cast iron pan until it is sizzling and smoking. Add the shrimp to the pan for only 30 seconds on each side, this will par-cook the shrimp, turning the flesh from transparent to white and exhibit a little caramelization. (Note: they will receive more heat at the end of the pizza bake.) When all the shrimp are done, cool off at room temperature for 20 minutes and remove skewers. Refrigerate shrimp.
Bake and Finish the Pizza:
4 ounces plus of Mojo de Ajo 6 ounces of proprietary aged mozzarella 4 ounces of cream cheese Bacon squares from previous recipe (there should be 16-17 of them) 20 par-cooked shrimp from previous recipe 1 small, ripe avocado Cilantro sprigs Half a lemon
Form a 14- inch round with your proprietary dough. Top the dough with 4-5 ounces of Mojo de Ajo as a sauce. (Remember, this sauce is very garlicky.) Place 6 ounces of your proprietary mozzarella on the sauce followed by the par-cooked bacon squares. Pinch off small dollops of cream cheese and spread around the pizza. The small piles should be the diameter of a nickel. Place the pizza in the oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. While the pizza is baking, cut an avocado in half. Using a small, sharp knife, cut down and all the way through the flesh lengthwise 3 times then across 4-5 times to produce a cross-hatch pattern. Using a spoon, scoop out the now squared flesh by dragging the spoon against the inner skin into a bowl. Repeat with the other half of the avocado. Very gently mix in 1.5 tablespoons of the Mojo de Ajo with the avocado without smashing the squares. After 10 minutes of baking, pull the pizza from the oven and place the shrimp lengthwise facing toward the center of the pizza spread to look nice. (This will enable you to cut the pizza without wrecking the shrimp or the nice presentation.) Place the shrimp-topped pizza back into the oven and cook for 2 more minutes. This should be enough time for the par-cooked shrimp to get completely cooked and warm. Pull from the oven and place the avocado cubes around the pie followed by the cilantro. Spritz with juice from half a lemon before eating. Yum.
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