Saturday, March 31, 2012
Calzones and a Few Spring Blooms
Tonight I had a request to make Calzones. I wasn't surprised because I had tried them a while back and they were so good I figured they would become part of the dinner repertoire around here. When I made them the first time I was a bit intimidated looking for dough recipes because there are so many out there. When that happens I find the best thing to do is to refer to a trusted cookbook for a recipe and then tweak from there.
My sister Cindy gave me the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book when I got my first apartment in college and I turn to it in cases like this. Their dough recipe is pretty straightforward and I'd recommend it for anyone wanting to try their hand at pizza or something like calzones. It seems pretty forgiving. It might not be quite as chewy as delivery pizza, but still really good. The filling for these can really be whatever you have on hand. Even leftovers stuffed in dough would be great.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
Pepperoni (about half of one of those pillow packs), chopped into small pieces
Salami (I used about 4 ounces of a pre-sliced, but hard salami would be great too), chopped into small pieces
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion chopped
Spaghetti Sauce (use your favorite jarred or homemade) about a cup
Mozzarella Cheese - about 1 1/2 cups
Parmesan Cheese for sprinkling
Combine meats, onions & bell peppers and saute for a few minutes until onions begin to soften. Add Sauce and cook for a couple of minutes more to warm but no need to get super hot. Remove from heat.
3 cups flour
1 packet yeast
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons oil
Preheat oven to 425°. In a large mixer bowl combine 1 1/4 cup flower, yeast and salt. Stir in warm water and oil. Beat at low speed with a mixer for a 1/2 minute, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed then stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon. Either knead with a dough hook if your mixer has it or turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes). Cover dough and let rest for at least 10 minutes (I let mine go about 30 mins) Punch down lightly, let sit for a minute then divide into 6 equal pieces.
Working with one piece of dough at a time roll out to about 6 inches, put 1/6 of meat mixture on one side of dough about 1/4 cup of mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan. Wet the edges of the dough slightly, fold over one side and crimp edges to seal. Place on a greased or lined pan or a baking stone. Repeat with the remainder of the dough & filling. Let Calzones rest for about 10 minutes, brush tops and edges with beaten egg. Put three small slashes in each to allow steam to escape. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Serve with a nice salad and you have a meal.
Spring is slow to arrive here although I know much of the rest of the country has almost skipped to summer! There are a few things happening though. Here's an early spring mini tour, starting with my first daffodil to open.
The primroses never fail to open! Love their bright cheery faces.
The hellebores or Lenten Roses are pretty right now too.
These little anemones come up from little tubers every year.
This is a tiny little spring bloomer called Hepatica
And a darker Hellebore
We've been awfully rainy, but I walked around today and saw even more things on the verge of bloom. Looks like its going to be a good lilac and clematis year!