This week marks the two year anniversary of being diagnosed with Celiac Disease and having to go gluten-free overnight. Nothing could have prepared for completely changing my lifestyle in the blink of an eye and, to be honest, most days I wish I could squeeze them both shut and have this all disappear when I open them back up.
While it’s easy to feel like I’ve got a raw deal, I know that in terms of serious health issues I’m extremely lucky that my disease doesn’t require me to take drugs or therapies so I feel awful complaining about it when I know things could be so much worse. Truly, I do. Plus I’ve got this guy on my side which makes me feel like I can get through ANYTHING!
In honor of Valentine’s Day, Udi’s asked me to spotlight my “gluten-free person” – my biggest cheerleader in going gluten-free – which of course, is sweet and humble, attention-dodging Ben. Sorry babe – bask for just one moment! ;) As easy as it is to feel down about having Celiac Disease, I can’t imagine being the spouse of someone with it (or any disease for that matter.) That said, let me tell you why Ben is #1 in my #GFsquad!
- Didn’t bat an eyelash when we removed all the gluten from our house when I wasn’t getting better after only removing gluten from my diet. This PB&J-loving, craft beer-brewing, fresh pasta-making man has not complained once.
- Is constantly bringing home new gluten-free foods for us to try, and adapting old favorite recipes to be gluten-free.
- Buys new wines that he thinks I’ll like. (Ok that has nothing to do with having Celiac Disease, but still – swoon!)
- Is my biggest cheerleader when I’m not feeling well or am down in the dumps – even when I feel like I’m the one who should be constantly cheering him up about all this!
- Suggested we get a sugar glider. (Also has nothing to do with living gluten-free, but he just emailed asking if we could get one for Lincoln and I’m dying.)
- Eats gluten-free because I have to – need I say more?
Pre-diagnosis, Friday night was always traditional pizza night at our house and, as silly as it sounds, it was a huge blow when we couldn’t pick up the phone and order Dominos anymore (the mental part of CD is something I realize is hard to understand unless you’re in it, so just take my word for it.) For two years now we’ve made do with replacements like Mini Pizza Quinoa Bites, Pizza Spaghetti Squash, and a few good frozen gluten-free pizzas, but the thought of making our own gluten-free pizza at home hadn’t occurred to me until I asked Ben to bring something fun home for Friday night dinner last month, and he surprised me with DIY pizza supplies.
In our defense, Lincoln is allergic to dairy, so the thought of having to make a gluten-free, dairy-free pizza just seemed like too much work (and like a pretty horrible pizza, to be honest!) but since that Friday night when Ben brought home a 2-pack of Udi’s Gluten-Free Thin & Crispy Pizza Crust, which is gluten and dairy free, plus vegan cheese for Lincoln, we’ve made homemade pizza every single week and it’s been like going back in time.
Believe it or not, the only thing Ben loves more than ketchup is pizza and while I was pregnant he’d regularly exclaim, “I can’t WAIT to eat pizza with my boy!” Between Lincoln’s allergy and my CD…poor Ben!! Needless to say he was super excited to craft Lincoln’s first pizza with him. :) Lead by his expert direction, Lincoln brushed an Udi’s crust with GF/DF pizza sauce then sprinkled on vegan cheese, turkey pepperoni, and chopped mushrooms.
This pizza making moment melted my heart, and hearing him exclaim “that’s a tasty bite!” between each mouthful of his very first pizza EVER (which he ate 5 slices of!) turned me into a puddle of mush.
We’ve been making homemade pepperoni and vegetable pizzas each Friday ever since, but today I want to share a more grown up version for your Valentine’s Day dinner consideration, which my main main ADORES – Gluten-Free Steak House Pizza!
Gluten-free pizza crust is topped with steak house staples like garlicky extra virgin olive oil, caramelized red onions (not on Ben’s half!) pan-seared steak (definitely on Ben’s half!) creamy fontina cheese, bold gorgonzola cheese, fresh arugula, and sweet and syrupy balsamic reduction. This pizza will make you ask Domi-WHO? (Because it’s way better than Dominos…get it?)
Everyone knows that restaurants charge an arm and a leg for Valentine’s Day dinner, and if you’re gluten-free, eating at a restaurant can cause a ton of anxiety anyway (can you say mood killer?) so grab a bottle of bubbly and make this steak house-inspired pizza at home with your sweetie this Valentine’s Day – Ben and I definitely will!
Start by making the caramelized onion topping which can be cooked up at least a day ahead of time. Saute 1 thinly sliced red onion in 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil with a dash of salt over medium heat until the onions are sticky and caramelized, 20-25 minutes. Your kitchen is going to smell INSANE while this is happening, by the way!
Meanwhile, simmer 1 cup balsamic vinegar over medium heat until it’s the consistency of thin maple syrup. I always take the pan off the heat when I think it’s done and scrape a spatula across the bottom. When the vinegar holds back for just a moment, the reduction is done. It’ll get thicker as it cools, FYI.
Finally, rub a 12oz steak with extra virgin olive oil then season it extremely generously with salt and pepper. I used a 1-1/2″ thick ribeye but would also recommend a strip steak or flank steak. You can either grill or sear it on the stovetop, which is what I did.
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet (cast iron works best,) over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke, then turn the heat down to medium for a minute. Add the steak then sear for 2 minutes on the first side, and then 2 minutes on the second side for medium doneness. If your steak is thicker or thinner, adjust your cooking time accordingly.
Let the steak rest for at least 10 minutes then slice it extremely thin against the grain. You can do this a day ahead of time too – the steak slices will warm right up in the oven because they’re sliced so thin.
Pizza time! Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray, then arrange both the Udi’s Thin & Crispy Pizza Crusts that come in the pack on top. Brush each with a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic then bake for 3 minutes at 375 degrees. This initial baking step will help the crust hold up to our heavy toppings, which is what we add next.
Divide the caramelized onion and steak slices between the pizzas, then split 4oz shredded fontina cheese and 1-1/2oz gorgonzola crumbles between the two crusts.
Pop the pizzas back into the oven for 5-6 minutes then slice, top with fresh baby arugula, and a drizzle (or heavy pour!) of the sweet balsamic reduction, and then dig in!
Gluten-Free Steak House Pizza
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 large red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 12 oz steak ribeye, strip, or flank steak recommended
- salt and pepper
- 2 Udi’s Gluten-Free Thin & Crispy Pizza Crusts
- 2 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 4 oz shredded fontina cheese
- 1-1/2 oz crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- 1 cup baby arugula
- Heat extra virgin olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add onions, season with salt, then saute until golden brown, sticky, and caramelized, stirring occasionally, 20-25 minutes. Set aside - can be done a day ahead of time.
- Meanwhile bring balsamic vinegar to boil in a small saucepan. Turn heat down to medium the simmer until balsamic vinegar is the consistency of thin maple syrup (take the pan off the heat then run a spatula down the center. When you can see the bottom of the pan for a second, it's done.) Balsamic reduction will continue to thicken as it cools - can be done a day or two ahead of time.
- Pat steak dry with a paper towel then slice off any extra fat around the edges. Brush each side with extra virgin olive oil and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet (cast iron is best) over medium-high heat until smoking then turn heat down to medium and let cool for 1 minute. Add steak then sear for 2 minutes on one side, or until a brown crust has formed, then flip and sear for 2 minutes on the other side (these are cooking times for a 1-1/2" ribeye cooked to medium doneness. Adjust cooking time according to how thick your steak is.) Let steak rest for 10 minutes before slicing very thinly against the grain - can be cooked and sliced a day ahead of time.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees then line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Arrange pizza crusts on baking sheet then stir together extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic in a small dish and brush on top of the crusts. Bake for 3 minutes then top crusts with caramelized onions, steak slices, and fontina and gorgonzola cheeses, and then bake for 5-6 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and crusts are golden brown.
- Slice pizzas then top with baby arugula and balsamic reduction before serving.
This pizza is so decadent and delicious, it’s going to make you forget all about being gluten-free! I love the subtle taste of garlic, sweet caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar, the salty steak and fresh, peppery arugula. This pizza is hitting all the marks – I hope you love it!
OH, and how could I forget?! Just like it’s gluten-filled counterpart, this gluten-free pizza is KILLER cold from the fridge. Just something to think about. ;)
This post was sponsored by Udi’s but all opinions and recipes are my own!