Philly Cheese Steak Style Pizza

Want an easy meal that pleases everyone! This is it.

Between food sensitivities and my daughter’s gluten free diet I often find myself making two different meals for dinner. My biggest goal for 2016 is to prepare just one meal for dinner that everyone can (and wants!) to eat. No small feat.

Picky eating runs in my family. We have found that the picky eating is usually related to food allergies or sensitivities, or just plain bad food experiences. Nuts and seeds are tricky, two of us can’t have peanut butter or sunflower seeds. The rest of the clan have no nut allergies. I am the only one who will eat fresh tomatoes, two others will eat tomato sauce. One kid loves asparagus (as I do), the rest won’t eat it. My son is the pickiest, but will thankfully eat petite peas by the barrel! However, I’m the only other person in the house that loves them too.

Change number 1 for 2016 is gluten free crust for everyone for pizza night. This recipe calls for a pre-made pizza crust. You can find two recipes for gluten free pizza crust here: Crispy Gluten Free Pizza Crust and here: Easy Gluten Free Pizza Crust.

On busy nights it is so easy to order out or pick up a “crust disk” from the grocery store. Gluten free pizza crust is a quick option, especially if you bake a few ahead of time and store them in the freezer for that busy night.

If you do not like gluten free crust and want “real” pizza dough, try my recipe here: Easy Homemade Pizza or simply buy the pre-made fresh dough from the bakery department at the grocery store. Brush the dough with a teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt before baking, then bake the crust just until it begins to brown.

For this Philly Cheese Steak Pizza I was looking for a less expensive option for the steak and happened to take note of the nutritional info on the meat packages. I had originally planned to buy chicken thighs, but they weren’t on sale and turkey legs were a better buy. I was surprised that they are also lower in total fat and saturated fat than chicken thighs. Double bonus!

Getting the meat off the leg took time, as I had to cut down the leg next to the bone with a knife, then cut the tendons attached to the bottom and pull the meat up and off. Next, I used kitchen shears to cut and pull the tendons away from the meat and cut the meat into bite sized pieces. I ended up with one cup of turkey leg meat for each leg.

I saved the bones and tendons with scraps of meat attached and placed them in a plastic bag to go in the freezer. They’ll make a nice turkey broth this week when the temps go down and we’re craving warm soup. If you’re in a hurry this isn’t the best meat to use. However, I was surprised that the meat, after marinating and cooking it tasted remarkably like beef!

You can use any meat you wish for this pizza, including leftovers in your fridge. If you want to skip the meat, marinate a couple of portobello mushrooms in the balsamic vinegar and sesame oil, and cook as instructed below.

How to scrub mushrooms? Don’t drench them in water, scrub lightly with a clean vegetable brush, then wipe with a damp paper towel.

Cheesesteak Pizza

Philly Cheese Steak Pizza

6-8 ounces thinly sliced steak (top round, rib eye or tenderloin), or poultry thigh or leg meat, or two scrubbed and sliced portobello mushrooms

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon sesame oil*

Salt & Pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced

1 cup Vidalia, or other sweet onion slices

1/2 cup shredded provolone, or 4 one ounce slices

1  ten to twelve inch pre-made pizza crust

Mix meat, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pinch of pepper in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Saute sliced pepper and onion in a skillet with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper on medium heat until lightly browned and slightly translucent (this should take about 10 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside.

Saute meat in the same skillet for 4 to 5 minutes, just until cooked through. Remove and let drain on paper towels and let cool.

Spread the pepper and onion mixture and the meat out onto a pre-made pizza crust and top with provolone cheese. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes.

Pizza baking time will vary depending on how thickly you roll your crust out. Thicker takes longer, if your toppings are browning too quickly, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly before slicing. Serve immediately. Eat well!

*Sesame Oil is usually found in small bottles in the International section at the grocery store. It is not a cooking oil, but used more like a condiment in Asian cooking. It adds a light nutty flavor to foods and when combined with balsamic vinegar lends a meaty note to dishes. It is an oil so use it in small amounts. If you don’t have it, simply substitute olive oil and a teaspoon of soy sauce.