Today, we eat pizza. It's an obvious choice since it appears and is mentioned in The Duff on at least three occasions. The more pressing question: what type of pizza?
Generally, when I ask that question, the correct answer is Papa Johns (or Little Caesars) (or Pizza Hut) (or any of the fast food options). Why? Because I'm lazy. And making a good pizza is actually a lot of work. Now don't get me wrong--I put in a lot of work on many of my themed foods, but usually it's because that's the only way I can have the themed food. That's just not the case with pizza. I can get pizza by opening a new tab in my browser.
So why is pizza so hard to make? Mostly, it's the crust. To make a good crust, you generally need to make it a day in advance so it can sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours. That alone isn't very convenient. But you also have to worry about cooking it at the right temperature. Most restaurants cook their pizza at over 500 degrees F, making their results incredibly hard to duplicate. In an ideal world, you'd have a wood fired stove and a pizza stone. But we don't live in an ideal world. And I don't even own a pizza stone.
Plus, we're talking about a movie that revolves around high-school kids. They're not making homemade pizza dough--or at least, I wasn't when I was in high school. Which leads me to pizza DUFF.
So along time ago, back before I had the ability to buy my own pizza whenever I wanted (read: money and transportation), I got a hankering for some pizza. A raid of the pantry and refrigerator yielded pizza sauce and cheese, but no pre-made crust. I did, however, locate some tortillas. And if bagel bites had taught me anything, it was that the ingredients for pizza taste delicious no matter what flour-based vehicle you use to get them in your mouth. Thus, tortilla pizza, the designated ugly fat friend of pizza, was born.
The concept is pretty simple; it's basically made the exact same way you'd make an open faced grilled cheese. Using a small skillet, you heat your tortilla with the toppings on it until the cheese starts to melt. And ta-da. Tortilla pizza. Now, I'm not saying this is the best version of pizza. What I am saying is that, if you're creative enough, and if you try hard enough, you can make something that tastes an awful lot like pizza with whatever you find in your pantry.
In my case, I didn't have crust, so I used tortillas. But if you're out of pizza sauce, take a can of tomato sauce, add some Italian spices, and it's close enough. Cheese is literally the only ingredient on a pizza that is irreplaceable. So, pizza DUFF is less recipe and more a way of life than anything else. But, regardless, you can find the "recipe" to my tortilla pizza below. Just, whatever you do, don't go out and buy the ingredients to make tortilla pizza. Because if you're going to do that, you should just buy a damn pizza. If you happen to already have the ingredients on hand, then please proceed.
- Mozzarella cheese
- Pizza sauce
- Assorted, already cooked pizza toppings (optional)
- Place a small pat of butter (less than a tablespoon) in a small skillet, heating on medium heat. I use a cast iron, but that's only because it's the skillet closest in size to a tortilla.
- Once butter has melted, place tortilla in skillet, quickly adding a thin layer of pizza sauce, toppings, and mozzarella cheese. You need to move quickly so that your cheese melts before your tortilla burns
- When the cheese in the middle just STARTS to melt, remove your tortilla pizza from pan with a spatula. The tortilla will be crisp like a chip, so it shouldn't bend when you remove it.
Do not leave the tortilla on the stove until the cheese bubbles because you will probably catch your house on fire. It's a real delicate balance between not burning the crap out of your tortilla and warming the cheese enough to melt. Remember, you're not applying heat directly to the top of the cheese, so it will not brown. If it smells like it's burning but the cheese looks completely unmelted, your heat is probably up to high. But that's okay, because there are dozens of tortillas in a package, so feel free to try again.
- Tomato sauce, ground beef, green peppers, cheese
- Tomato sauce, ground beef, mushrooms, cheese
- Alfredo sauce, spinach, onions, cheese
- Cheddar cheese, eggs, bacon, more cheese
The important part is that all of the ingredients (except the cheese) must be cooked and warmed before added to the tortilla. If you put raw veggies on a tortilla pizza, you will be eating raw veggies on your tortilla pizza because the tortilla will never get hot enough to cook them. That's why I almost never put pepperoni on a tortilla pizza, though you could technically warm it on the skillet before cooking your pizza.