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Dining In: Pizza for the '90s has a new look

by Karen Diefendorf, Food and Features Editor

Toni's shrimp pizza with roasted garlic
(From The Alaska Heritage Seafood Cookbook, by Ann Chandonnet)
   1 pizza crust (14-inches), unbaked or prebaked
   1 head garlic
   2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
   1 Tbsp. dried basil
   1 tsp. dried oregano
   8 oz. Mozzarella cheese, or more to taste, grated
Toppings:
   1 c. peeled and deveined shrimp
   1/2 c. sliced Greek olives
   4 oz. feta cheese, cut into small cubes
   1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
   1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
   1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes or sliced Roma tomatoes
   Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roast the head of garlic as follows: Remove the loose outer skins. Place the garlic head in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the individual cloves are tender.
   Peel the garlic cloves. Mash them and spread on the prepared crust. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Then sprinkle with basil and oregano. Sprinkle all but 1/2 cup of the Mozzarella onto the crust.
   Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Top the pizza with the shrimp, olives, feta and mushrooms, distributing them evenly. Over the toppings, sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Mozzarella and then the Parmesan. Top with the tomatoes. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is baked.

Barbecue beef pizza
   1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
   3/4 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
   3/4 c. prepared barbecue sauce
   1/2 c. sliced green onions
   1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
   1 large (16-oz.) Italian bread shell or prepared pizza crust
   1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
   Pepperoncini peppers
   Heat oven to 425 degrees. In large nonstick skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings. Stir in mushrooms, barbecue sauce, green onions and salt. Heat through.
   Place bread shell on large ungreased baking sheet. Spread beef mixture evenly over bread shell. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake in 425 degree oven 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut pizza into 6 wedges and garnish with pepperoncini peppers.

Roasted garlic pizza
   1 medium onion
   2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
   Dough to make one 12-inch pizza or 2 6-inch pizzas, or pre-made crust(s)
   1/2 c. pesto
   2 heads garlic, roasted and mashed
   1/2 c. grated asiago cheese
   4 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves
   Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet and sauté the onion until slightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
   On a well-floured surface, press out the dough to form one 12-inch or two 6-inch rounds. Lightly oil a black steel pan or cookie sheet and transfer the dough to the pizza pan.
   Spread a thin layer of pesto over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch rim. Spread the onion over the pesto and then the roasted garlic. Sprinkle a layer of cheese over the garlic and arrange the basil leaves over the cheese.
   Bake the pizza as close to the oven floor as possible until the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Pepperoni pizza sandwich
   1 English muffin
   3 tsp. prepared pizza sauce
   4 slices sandwich pepperoni
   1 oz. Mozzarella cheese
   2 fresh mushrooms, sliced
   3 leaves fresh spinach
   Toast the English muffins. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoon of the pizza sauce on each muffin half. On the bottom half of muffin, layer pepperoni, Mozzarella, mushrooms, and spinach. Microwave on high for 40 seconds, or until cheese begins to melt. Put the two halves together to make a sandwich. Nutrition facts: 257 calories, 6.7 grams total fat.

Mediterranean pesto shrimp pizza
   5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
   6 slices eggplant
   3 English muffins, split and lightly toasted
   2 Tbsp. prepared pesto sauce
   6 large slices tomato
   1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
   1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
   1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
   1/2 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
   2 Tbsp. thinly sliced oil-packed sundried tomatoes
   2 Tbsp. pitted and thinly sliced Kalamata olives
   2 Tbsp. thinly sliced roasted red peppers
   6 large-size shrimp, peeled, deveined, cut in half
   Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant slices and sauté both sides; drain and set aside. Place muffins on baking sheet. Lightly spread each muffin with the pesto sauce. Top with eggplant, then tomato. Evenly sprinkle each pizza with basil, oregano, feta and Mozzarella cheeses, sundried tomatoes, olives and red peppers. Lightly coat the shrimp in the remaining olive oil and arrange 2 halves onto each muffin. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked and pink in color. Serve immediately.

Beef and salsa pizza
   1 1/2 c. prepared baking mix
   1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
   1/4 c. hot water
   1 lb. ground beef
   1 c. thick 'n chunky salsa
   1 1/2 c. shredded colby-jack cheese
   Guacamole (optional)
   Stir baking mix, oil and water vigorously 20 strokes. Let stand 6 minutes. Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Grease cookie sheet or 12-inch pizza pan. Cook ground beef in 10-inch skillet until brown. Drain and stir in salsa.
   Pat dough into 12-inch circle on cookie sheet or press in pizza pan, using hands dusted with baking mix. Spread with beef mixture; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve with guacamole if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Meatball pizza
   5 oz. prepared pizza sauce
   1 12-inch Italian bread shell
   2 c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
   24 meatballs, 3/4-inch, cooked
   1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
   Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread pizza sauce over bread shell, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle with 1 cup Mozzarella cheese. Arrange meatballs over filling. Sprinkle with remaining Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes on a baking sheet in lower 1/3 of the oven. Cool slightly and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

Veggie and seafood pizza
   1 small individual ready-made pizza crust
   1 1/2 oz. (3 Tbsp.) crab-flavored surimi seafood, flake or chunk style
   1/3 c. combined vegetable toppings chosen from: corn, peas, broccoli cuts, thin slices red or green pepper, thin slices of onion separated into rings, thinly sliced mushrooms
   1/4 c. meatless spaghetti or pizza sauce
   1 slice or 2 Tbsp. grated Mozzarella cheese
   Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pizza crust on baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes or according to package directions. Spread surimi seafood evenly. Arrange 1/3 cup of vegetable toppings over the surimi. Spoon sauce over vegetables. Top with cheese. Bake 10 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling hot. Makes 1 serving. Nutritional facts: calories, 317; protein, 19 gm; fat, 10 gm; cholesterol, 35 mg.; sodium, 713 mg.