Diehard "American Idol" viewers will remember Sarah Sellers as the geek-chic food blogger who made it to Hollywood Week last year. (Watch her Season 10 audition here.) Since leaving "Idol" last year, Sarah has continued her food-blogging and kitchen experimentation, and she has been whipping up yummy snack suggestions for any "Idol" viewing party and posting them here exclusively in Reality Rocks. And she's back this season to get your mouth watering on every Wednesday and Thursday night--and, in this case, on a Sunday night, since there's a special episode airing after the NFL game this evening.
For Wednesday night's big "Idol" premiere, Sarah went with a Southern theme in honor of the Savannah auditions, serving up grits cakes with crab dip, and for Thursday's auditions in Pittsburgh, she's combined two of that city's most popular munchies: pierogies and kielbasa. Now, for tonight's bonus episode in sunny San Diego, it's time for some California cuisine. Enjoy!
California Style Shrimp and Pesto Pizza
- 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves (large handful)
- 4 garlic cloves, divided
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan, divided
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced in half moons
- 1/4 shrimp (around 8 large), butterflied
- store bought pizza dough, thin crust
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat pizza stone in a 450 degree oven.
To prepare the pesto, combine the first five ingredients in a food processor. While the ingredients are blending, slowly pour in the olive oil until you get a creamy consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Crush the remaining garlic cloves and add to the skillet, along with the rosemary and red pepper flakes. Sauté until fragrant. Remove from the heat.
Remove the garlic and rosemary from the skillet and mince the garlic. Brush the pizza crust with the olive oil.
In the same skillet sauté the onions until translucent. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until the shrimp start to turn slightly opaque. Remove from the pan.
Smooth the top of the pizza crust evenly with the pesto. Top with the mozzarella, shrimp mixture, and garlic. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and garnish with the rosemary (using kitchen sheers snip the rosemary leaves evenly on top).
Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and the crust is a light golden brown, around 12-15 minutes. Cut and serve.
Check out Sarah's food and music blogs at http://sarahsmusicalkitchen.com