Pizza Challenge: Traditional vs. Gourmet

Besides my forgetful hiatus from Secret Recipe Club for September, I was also not able to participate in last month’s Food ‘n Flix round.   During the end of September I was super busy participating in #10DaysofTailgate.   Don’t get me wrong, I loved this challlenge that Camilla put out, but it left no time for FnF.   I really felt bad that I didn’t watch Funny Girl and didn’t make a suitable dish to post.    (Again, I apologize Caroline.)


I know, as usually, I am down to the wire here.   This post about didn’t happen as well.

After a full day of some expected and unexpected water and plumbing issues, The Hubs and I collapsed about 4:00 yesterday afternoon to watch The Terminal, this month’s FnF selection hosted by Evelyne at Cheap Ethnic Eatz.   It had been awhile since The Hubs helped me with a Food ‘n Flix post.   (If you are new to Food ‘n Flix, every month we watch a different film and then post a recipe inspired by the chosen film.   Membership is open to everyone.   For more information click, here.)  Honestly, I think I would have to go all the way back to Who’s Killing the Great Chefs of Europe to remember a FnF film he watched with me.   (He was not a big fan of that film—maybe that’s why I have refrained from asking him to watch another FnF pick.)

Anywhoo, we were both exhausted and wanted to watch a movie.  I saw my opening—“Let’s watch The Terminal.”

the terminal

He agreed.

The Terminal  has some star power behind it featuring Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci and directed by Steven Spielberg.  This 2004 release revolves around Viktor Navorski, a tourist coming to NYC from his homeland of Krakozhia.   After Viktor lands at JFK and is taken into custody by Homeland Security officials, he finds out his country had been torn apart by a revolution while he had been in the air.   His Krakozhian passport is invalid and the US cannot issue him a visa.   He becomes “delayed” for nine months in the International Lounge at JFK along the way finding a job and friends who become a make-shift family.  

My favorite character had to be Gupta:


“No man will die today!”

What was The Hubs summation of the film?   “Why, it’s the feel good movie of the year,” he said sarcastically.

I however, enjoyed it.   It was cute.  I was amazed how young everyone looked and I couldn’t get Tucci’s character of Paul Childs (from Julie and Julia) out of my head.

Finding something to make was a bit difficult.   I thought about apple chips from the early scene of Dixon (Tucci) smashing his chips with the “Big Apple.”   There were the never ending Burger King appearances.   There was the submarine sandwich that Dixon tries to lure Viktor with (“No, not hungry,” he replies).   There were the croissants and cannelloni from Viktor’s romantic dinner with Amelia.

I finally went with the reference to Sbarro, the place where Enrique (with much help from Viktor) asks Delores to marry him.

After the movie, The Hubs and I had a romantic pizza challenge.

The Terminal pizza

His was a more traditional pizza.   Mine was more gourmet.

Sausage Pizza with Diced Tomatoes
from The Hubs

dough for 1 pizza crust
1 lb. of breakfast sausage
1 pkg. Italian cheese blend
1 can of diced tomatoes, drained  (He actually used a jar of our canned bruschetta.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and preheat a pizza stone for 45 minutes to 1 hour.   Cook sausage and drain.   Roll out dough thin and place on hot pizza stone.   Prick dough with a fork so air can escape and bubbles won’t form.  Place crust in oven for about 5 minutes or until it just begins to firm up.   Remove and sprinkle on the sausage and cheese.   Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is bubbly.   Remove from oven and arrange tomatoes on top.

For an added layer of flavor, I “helped” him out by sprinkling on about 1/8 t. of rosemary herb salt on top of the finished pie.

Now for my gourmet pizza.

Mushroom Pate and Goat Cheese Pizza
Mushroom Pate recipe from Eating Well (Sept/Oct 2015)

3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb. baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/8 c. dried shallots (or 1/4 c. fresh minced shallots)
2 T. fresh sage, chopped
1/4 t. sea salt
1/2 t. fresh ground pepper
3 T. hearty red wine
1/2 c. toasted walnuts
2 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
dough for 1 pizza
4 oz. goat cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and preheat a pizza stone for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Heat 1 T. of the olive oil in a large skillet and saute mushrooms for about 2 minutes.  After some of the juices have started to release, add the shallots.   Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.   Add sage, salt and pepper and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring often.   Add wine and scrape pan, getting any cooked bits stuck to the bottom.   Stir and cook until liquid evaporates, 2-3 minutes.

Place mixture in food processor.  Pulse a few times and then add nuts and cheese.   Add remaining 2 T. of olive oil and process until finely chopped and “pate-like.

Roll out pizza dough thin and place on hot pizza stone.   Prick dough with a fork so air can escape and bubbles won’t form.  Place crust in oven for about 5 minutes or until it just begins to firm up.   Remove from oven and spread on mushroom mixture.   Crumble up goat cheese and place on top.   Bake for another 5-10 minutes.

I was actually using leftover Mushroom Pate from a midweek get-together I had for some friends.  Although I loved my pizza, I think The Hubs won.  Let it be known that I made the dough for both!

2014-10-26 09.22.09

Thanks to Evalyne for hosting this round of Food ‘n Flix.   Please put the remaining 2014 selections on your calendar and plan ahead.   Deb at Kahakai Kitchen is hosting in November with Pieces of April and then Heather at girlichef is hosting the best holiday movie ever for December:  A Christmas Story.  


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