scratch-mark

Get Over the “Paleo Pizza” Habit and Just Make a Really Good Fucking Pizza For a Special Occasion

I’m totally guilty.

I completely fell head over heals for the “paleo Pizza” craze years back. First, it was cauliflower crust and then, meat as “crust” or, “meatza.” Thing is, I haven’t made either in years. Why? Pain in the ass for the former and for the latter, just make a meatloaf.

So I ask you: what’s better, an indulgence you call “paleo” every week because you still have “pizza night;” or, getting over pizza night altogether and every now and then, taking in an indulgence in the real thing? Your choice, but for the mature Paleos who’ve gone through all the ups & downs and the newest things, how about just make a real pizza and enjoy it?

It. Will. Not. Kill. You. Promise. It’s about acute vs. chronic, and if you haven’t learned to largely control your taste for indulgences yet, then you might consider just giving up and go count calories. That works too.

I pulled my pizza stone out of the cupboard for the first time in over 5 years. Mission: La Reine. That was my favorite, and the little Sicilian restaurant a short walk away from my apartment on the Mediterranean in Toulon, France, back in the early 90’s did them in the wood fired oven.

First, let your dough sit out for a while, get up to room temp. I used Trader Joes’ Mark 1, Mod A pizza dough. Then, get your oven up to 450F with your stone on the first level above middle.

IMG 1990
All The Ingredients

Pizza dough, owing to the high gluten content, is sticky as hell and sticks to itself even more vociferously. It’s like raw rubber, or something. I wanted to avoid using tons of flour to overcome this, plus I don’t have flour. So, I use corn meal for the nonstick element on the stone. I’m no pro, so attempting to toss the dough and stretch it out was no-go. So, I salted the hot stone with cornmeal, plopped the dough down and began trying to press it out best I could, slowly pulling my fingers off the stick, because you don’t want to break the dough apart at all.

It was hell and I’m thinking, “this is not going to work. There goes Sunday Night Football.” And then, I have a fucking brilliant idea. It’s been sitting on a 450F stone for 3 minutes now. What happens if I just flip it over? Sure enough. Light crust on the other side, completely non-sticky and I easily spread out the dough to cover the stone.

Then, I added stuff. (All the pics can be clicked for hi-res versions.)

IMG 1991
Stuff

Then, more stuff.

IMG 1992
More Stuff

Now, here’s where I go all Sicilian on your asses. What the fuck are those packages of red pepper flakes, or the sprinkle bottles? Do you like them, sprinkled on your pizza? Well, good. Then you’re enlightened, but still ignorant; because the true way to impart that lovely red pepper spice is via 100% suitably spiced extra virgin olive oil drizzled on your pizza, and especially the crust, transforming it into the food of Ancient Roman Gods. Basically, Italians take those small fire-hot red peppers, score them with a knife, and insert and pack them into a bottle of EVOO with a spout. Takes at least a week to get up to snuff. Every authentic pizza making Italian restaurant has them. You can take it to your table and call it your own for the evening.

I did a truc.

IMG 1993
Red Pepper Flakes in EVOO

I was astounded at how well it worked. First, I didn’t have a bottle of pepper oil as previously described, and even if I did (I used to), it would be over 5 years old. The positioning is important. It’s sitting under the heat vent for the oven and in the end, was gloriously spicy hot and very warm as a bonus.

Let’s eat.

IMG 1994
Sauce, Ham, Mozzarella, Greek Olives

Beatrice is a “combination” pizza person and I have always scoffed at the idea. I like a pizza that showcases an ingredient or two so you can know if an ingredient or two is very good (and BTW, that was stellar smoked ham). How easy is it to hide crap with 6-8 ingredients? But, I have had a few slices of combo in my life that were very good. Bonus for black olives and crunchy green bell pepper.

As we’re watching Sunday Night Football (she’s now 6-0, still #1, and still top cummulative scorer by more than 200 points in her fantasy league against all of her sports junkie brothers, brothers in law, and nephews :). She wasn’t sure about the pepper oil, so she did one piece with, one without and soon discovered the error of half her ways.

She kept repeating: “this is the best pizza I have ever had in my life.” At least 6 times. I’ll take it.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

9 Comments

  1. John on October 15, 2013 at 14:38

    Pizza was always my favorite food. Its the food I enjoy most while eating, and its the food I never tire of. I gave it up to go paleo in 2010. Then jumped on the meatza train. I experimented with almond flour and made some terrible tasting pizzas (good call on the PUFA comment a little while back).

    Now I eat at least 1 large (16″) pizza a week. Have been for the past year or so. Maybe after deadlift or squat day. Maybe after someone suggests getting pizza on any random night. Maybe both. It tastes especially good when I’ve only eaten a crappy chef salad (balsamic vinegar(no dressing)) all day and its 9 pm.

    My heath is better than ever, same with strength, skin, digestion, mood, energy. I’ve been 5’10”, 162-172 for the past 4 years. I don’t feel as morally pure as I did when living off a 0 wheat diet, but I certainly feel better overall including some pizza in my life.

  2. ray on October 15, 2013 at 18:49

    Richard- Dominos has a gluten free pizza that has fantastic ingredients and I hear is delicious in case you want pizza night without getting off the couch.

  3. Richard Nikoley on October 15, 2013 at 19:31

    Thanks Ray. Might have to give that a try in a few weeks. Don’t want to get anywhere near once per week, but since it had been more than 5 years since I made a pizza, what the hell. Yea, I’ve had a slice or two here & there, now & then.

    I have seen the ads where Dominos has been trying to up their game. Haven’t ordered from them since like 1993.

  4. Norm Robillard on October 15, 2013 at 20:18

    That pizza looks absolutely delicious! Great job. I would have helped you eat it, but you would likely get pissed because I only eat the toppings. We get funny looks all the time. “damn dough wasters”.

  5. gabriella kadar on October 15, 2013 at 20:24

    The best pizza I ever ate in my life was from a shack under the elevated highway in Naples back in 1969.

    The best tuna with tomatoes on gorgeous crusty rolls from a hole in the wall in Rome.

    It’s one of those things, like the best ever French onion soup at a non-descript little place in Calgary. Go figure.

    Or the best asparagus with hollandaise sauce at a professor’s home in Lisboa, New year 1970. I gorged. Never ate asparagus before. His poor wife had to make another huge batch (I’m sure she was hugely complimented or maybe resented that I ate all her asparagus…. oh well.)

    Or the bestest bouillabaisse in Marseilles………….. wow!

    I’m glad I’ve travelled far and wide and had the opportunity to enjoy. I ain’t gonna bore you further but really excellent food is unforgettable. Maybe I’ve always been a gastronome (unlike my parents).

    Oh, and the best fried squid rings in a bar in Spain where the floor was covered in oyster shells or some kind of shells. I saw people at another table eating these things and just had to try it. (I was only 12 years old but, hey, I was adventurous.)

    But the best Home Burger in the world was made by the Greek people downstairs from my office and I’ve never, ever since tasted anything as good. They’re gone. Cheap Thai food replaced them…………

    Must stop. You made me go down taste bud memory lane. Sorry. This all started with your pizza.

  6. Stephen Brown on October 16, 2013 at 01:36

    You could try making it with an organic spelt flour, what … with less nasty proteins in it than common flour, and to make it just that bit more authentic with the Roman Gods (as the Romans grew spelt).

  7. Brock in HK on October 16, 2013 at 05:30

    My parents live in St. Louis, where Imo’s pizza is the hometown favorite. When I’m home to see them, we always order a double pepperoni. Why miss out?

  8. Jeff on October 16, 2013 at 11:40

    I’m also a fan of only 2 toppings. Cherry peppers and sausage to be exact. Tapioca flour is a terrific substitute for flour of any kind (Chebe is a brand of pre-made mix but I just buy the tapioca flour).

  9. Anthony on November 4, 2013 at 13:47

    Yeah, pizza is one of the reasons I could never go 100% Paleo. 🙂

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

YouTube1k
YouTube
Pinterest118k
Pinterest
fb-share-icon
40
45
Follow by Email8k
RSS780