What happens when you combine BBQ sauce, wild US gulf shrimp, and dough– you get an amazing transformation– BBQ Shrimp Pizza. We know it’s a combo you may not normally consider, but, man, it is good and you will love it.
History of BBQ Shrimp Pizza
It all started with a man named Ed LaDou. Born in 1955, Ed LaDou is considered an American pizza culinary expert. LaDou is credited with promoting gourmet California-style pizzas. LaDou was working as a chef at several restaurants in San Francisco by the mid-1970s. He became infamous among his clientele for being a experimental pizza maker, yet some of the dishes did conflict with the sensibilities of the proprietors of the eateries in which he worked.
LaDou was working at an eatery called Prego, when he was discovered by master chef, Wolfgang Puck. Puck ordered one of LaDou’s pizzas, which was topped with ricotta cheese, red peppers, pâté. And mustard immediately offered him a job at his Spago restaurant in Los Angeles. Which at the time was not open yet.Spago opened in January 1982 with LaDou as its first pizza chef.
The original menu included pizzas topped with duck sausage or smoked salmon. Puck allowed La Dou to choose his own toppings and recipes. LaDou later remarked in an interview about his move to Spago’s. “It was like being an artist who’d worked with 10 colors all of his life and then got to use 300. LaDou’s pizzas were highly popular, making reservations at
Spago’s very hard to get. After a successful start at Spagos, LaDou was approached by Larry Flax, who co-founded the California Pizza Kitchen in 1985. Flax had previously taken a pizza making course with LaDou at Los Angeles’ Ma Maison, where Wolfgang Puck had been a chef immediately prior to opening Spago’s. Flax and Rosenfield, the other founder of the CPK. Asked LaDou to help develop a menu for the California Pizza Kitchen. LaDou accepted and developed the restaurant chain’s first menu, which included the CPK’s signature barbecue chicken pizza. The California Pizza Kitchen became a success and now has restaurants across the United States and worldwide.
BBQ Shrimp Pizza with Roasted Broccoli
- iron skillet
- rimmed baking sheet
- microplane or grater
- 12 oz pizza dough
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 oz sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 oz barbecue sauce
- 10 oz wild US gulf shrimp
- 1 ⁄2 lb broccoli
- olive oil
- coarse kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- Prep dough & ingredients: Preheat oven to 500°F with racks in center and bottom positions. Set pizza dough aside to come to room temperature. Trim ends from onion, then halve, peel, and thinly slice. Finely chop 2 tablespoons of the onions. Grate cheddar cheese on large holes of a box grater.
- Prep sauce & shrimp: In a small bowl, stir barbecue sauce with 2 tablespoons water. Pat shrimp dry and cut each into thirds. Transfer shrimp to a 2nd small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon oil and 1 tablespoon of the sauce and season with a pinch each salt and pepper.
- Prep broccoli-onion roast: Trim ends from broccoli, then cut into 1-inch florets with some stem attached. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss broccoli with 1 tablespoon oil and a generous pinch each salt and pepper and spread to a single layer on one half. On the other half, toss sliced onions with 1 tablespoon oil and a generous pinch each salt and pepper.
- Roast broccoli & onions: Roast broccoli and onions on the center oven rack, stirring each side once about halfway through, until crisp-tender and charred in spots, about 10 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
- Make pizza: On a floured surface, roll or stretch pizza dough to a 12-inch circle. If dough springs back, let sit 5 minutes, then roll again. Transfer dough to a 2nd oiled baking sheet. Spread with remaining barbecue sauce (leaving 1-inch border) and top with raw chopped onion and cheese. Bake on bottom rack until crust is golden and cheese is bubbling, 10-12 minutes.
- Finish & serve: Remove pizza from oven and scatter shrimp on top. Drizzle lightly with oil and sprinkle with pepper. Return pizza to oven and bake just until shrimp are pink and curled 2–3 minutes. Top with roasted sliced onions. Cut into wedges and serve roasted broccoli alongside. Enjoy!
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