When iZombie was premiering, I was so excited Rob Thomas was coming out with a new show. I had recently binged Veronica Mars, very late to the game, and his new comic book adaptation sounded like a fun new take on his mid aughts high school detective show. It ended up being as catchy and endearing as its predecessor, with a zombie twist. Our protagonist, Liv, needs to eat brains to survive, and the show does a really fun take on this trope. Each episode dedicates some time to show how Live prepares her brains du jour, always with a clever new "recipe." Before I had the idea for this blog, this is something I wanted to replicate. Even though it's pretty gross when you think too hard about it, I appreciate that the writers/prop team takes the time to and creativity to highlight this trait in our zombie lead. The show returns this week for a new season, and I jazzed up a brain pizza she made in the first season, of course subbing brain for shrimp, the closest food I could come up with to take its place. I also made sure it had some spice because that's a fun palate detail of iZombie's undead. For all the "brain food" we see on the show, someone from the website Cactus Pop documented every dish.
The flatbread recipe I adapted used a pre-made flatbread crust and added the toppings. I don't love making dough, and frankly I'm not super successful when I try most of the time, but I wanted to find an easy, neutral tasting crust recipe to try so it was completely from scratch. Using pre-made crust would work just as well and cut prep time by a lot, so I don't discourage it, but for future flatbread and pizza endeavors, this crust is incredibly easy and nearly foolproof.
Shrimp Flatbread with Mango Habanero Salsa
inspired by iZombie season 1, episode 12
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 lb shrimp
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning (or you can make your own)
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- 1/4 large tomato
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1 habanero pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- juice of 1/2-1 lime
To prepare the dough, combine water and yeast in a mixing bowl and stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the flour and salt and mix until a shaggy dough has formed. Turn dough and loose flour out from the bowl onto a flat surface and knead the dough for a few minutes until it's tacky and elastic. If it's too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time. Form prepared dough into a ball, cover and let rise for an hour and a half, ideally.
While the dough is rising, prepare the toppings. Combine shrimp, olive oil, salt, pepper and cajun seasoning in a bowl and stir to coat. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Add garlic to the skillet and stir for one minute, coating shrimp with butter and garlic.
Chop mango, tomato, red onion, jalapeño, habanero and cilantro. Toss everything in a bowl, add lime juice and stir to coat.
Once the dough is risen or you get too impatient, preheat the oven to 375ºF and roll it out into whatever shape you want (or can manage), as long as it's an even thickness. Since I was using a sheet pan and just trying to make a casual flatbread, I just rolled it out into a thin roundish blob. I also poked it with a fork to avoid air bubbles. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the bottom edges turn golden brown.
Let the crust cool a bit and increase heat in oven to 425ºF. Top crust with shrimp, scallions and cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven, add salsa and enjoy!
[made while watching The West Wing (season 6).]