This carb-friendly Cheese-Crust Shrimp and Mushroom Pizza is the best thing since sliced you-know-what. The crackle of the cheddar crust is the first signal that this is no ordinary pizza dough. As the ooze of the melted mozzarella cloaks the earthy and ocean combo of Gulf shrimp and button mushrooms, this simple (and quick) recipe is guaranteed to redefine pizza forever.
I love to cook low-carb. Not only do excessive carbohydrates sap my energy (read: nap time) but they pack on the pounds. Fortunately, a ketogenic (low-carb) diet is one weight-loss program that actually works for me, since I have always had a lifelong dislike of carbs and sugars. But there is a catch, and it’s one you can relate to: I have cravings. And the one craving that always sneaks up on me first is—you guessed it—pizza. I love the taste, the texture, the smell, and the party that takes place when I eat pizza. The crust is the culprit here; meats, vegetables, and cheese are low-carb, but the crust…what to do about the crust?
I tried the thin bread crust (too many carbs), cauliflower crust (still too many carbs), the kibbe crust (too complicated), and I even tried “skinning” the pizza where you just eat the top and leave the crust behind (too messy and disgusting). I was at my wit’s end when I found a recipe for a little carb-free cracker made by melting tablespoon clumps of cheddar cheese in a hot skillet. Light bulb moment! Why not spread an entire 10-inch, non-stick skillet with cheddar and let it crisp up to a crunchy foundation for layering on the pizza ingredients. Oh, yeah!
Here’s the key to making it work: No oven necessary; this is cooked on the stove top, but that necessitates that any raw ingredients be pre-cooked before topping the pizza. Use ingredients with very little moisture since the added liquid will make the crust soggy. For instance, if you prefer a tomato taste, use tomato paste (I buy it in the tube) and add it on sparingly (tomatoes have carbs); liquid tomato sauce will cause the cheese crust to soften.
This invention is the quickest and easiest way to make pizza, and if I weren’t on the keto diet, I would still prefer it over traditional doughy bread crust. It’s just that good. I’ve made dozens of versions depending on what I have on hand, but with some Gulf shrimp and button mushrooms, I’ve stumbled on a winning combination.
Whether you are on a low-carb diet or not, give this inspired new way of making pizza a try; my Cheese-Crust Shrimp and Mushroom Pizza just might become your favorite, too.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 large button mushrooms, sliced
- ½ pound medium (36-40) Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Pinch of Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- In a 13-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil and the mushrooms. Saute until the vegetables have browned, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until done, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the mixture lightly with Cajun seasoning. Move to a plate and keep warm.
- In the same skillet wiped clean over medium-high heat, add the cheddar cheese and spread it evenly across the surface. As the cheese begins melting, add small amounts of tomato paste in spots and sprinkle on the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- After the cheese has fully melted and begins forming a crust underneath, add the mozzarella along with the shrimp and mushrooms, distributing evenly.
- Tear the basil leaves and distribute on top.
- With a spatula, lift an edge of the cheddar cheese crust and look to see that it is forming a brown crust. Turn the heat to low and continue cooking on the stove top until the mozzarella melts. Once the bottom cheese crust turns golden brown, but before you begin to see wisps of smoke or smell burning, turn the pizza out of the pan and onto a cutting board.
- Let the pizza rest for 5 minutes as the bottom crust hardens to a crackly crunch. The top layer of cheese will be melted and gooey.
- Slice and enjoy.
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