Feeding the Active Writer: Low Carb Skillet Pizza

First one of these since moving from my old blog.

When I went low-carb a lot of my old favorite foods went off the table.  One of them was Pizza.  The issue ha always been what to use as the crust?  Well, here’s one.

First, preheat a skillet or griddle over medium high heat.  I love well-seasoned cast iron for this.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups grated white/Italian cheeses.  I use the bagged shredded stuff, usually the “5 cheese Italian” but feel free to grate your own if you want.  Just make sure you have some softer cheese that melts well in there.  Straight Parmesan probably would not work
  • 2 Tbsp or so of low-carb marinara (recipe below)
  • A bit more of the grated cheese
  • Your choice of toppings.  I like a virtual solid layer of sliced pepperoni.

Spread the 1 1/2 cups of cheese in a thick disk on the skillet/griddle

Let the cheese cook.  It will first melt, then toast.  As it starts to toast, the disk will start to look less melty and more solid.

Check it from time to time, attempting to slide a thin, flexible spatula under the disk of toasting cheese.  When you can completely slide the spatula under the cheese all the way around and to the center without causing the cheese to crumple up (if it starts to while you’re testing stop and use the edge of the spatula on the top to try to stretch it back out.  Come back a bit later to try again) it’s ready to top.

Spread the marinara over the top of the disk of toasted cheese.  There may be pinholes through the cheese caused by bubbling during the cooking process.  Some of the marinara will drip through these holes and sizzle against the pan.  This is fine and won’t harm anything.

Spread a little bit of the extra cheese over the marinara.  You don’t need much, not with a crust of toasted cheese.  This cheese is basically used as a glue to hold the top of the pizza together and keep the toppings in place.  Of course if you like a lot of cheese then knock yourself out.  It’s your pizza.  Make it like you want it.

Add your other toppings, whatever you  like on pizza, as much as you like.

It can help to sprinkle a bit more cheese over the top, again as a glue to hold things together.

Let it continue to cook a few more minutes, until the cheese you’ve just added is at least mostly melted.

Now comes the tricky part, transfering the pizza out of the pan to a cutting board or plate.  I have a frying pan and not a griddle so the raised rim makes it difficult.  What I usually do is use a large, thin, flexible spatula to lift one edge, slide a plate under that edge, and then work my way across lifting with the spatula and edging the plate under it.  Sometimes this doesn’t work and the pizza crumples together.  In that case I just flip the ends into the middle and call it a calzone.  Still tastes as good.

The end result should look something like this:

20170409_203859 web

Serves…Aw, who am I kidding.  You’re going to eat the whole thing, aren’t you?

Enjoy.

 

Edit:  Ack!  I’d forgotten the Marinara recipe.  Oh well, it’s easy enough:

Ingredients:

  • 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes (shop around to find the ones with the lowest sugar content–this will be the big problem for us low-carb types)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder (what can I say?  I like garlic)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (or red wine if you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

Add all the ingredients into a blender.

Mix on low until smooth

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight jar until use.

Really.  That’s it.

Enjoy.

 

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