Thursday, September 16, 2010


This recipe is exactly why I make so much stuff in advance for storage in the freezer. Ideally, this would be the perfect thing to make in the dead of winter to remind me of summer's amazing fresh basil and tomato flavors. But it also works on a chilly September night when you want to feed your hungry little brother.

As a result of my preparedness, my calzones are 100% made from scratch - and they were ready pretty quickly - because I had a whole wheat pizza dough, roasted tomato sauce, and pesto all ready to go in my freezer. I realize that this may be impractical for some people - however, store bought dough is acceptable! I don't agree that store bought tomato sauce or pesto are acceptable though since they are tastier and cheaper to make yourself (especially now when the ingredients are overflowing at the Farmer's Market!!!).

Zack and I argued over what to call these - Calzones or Homemade Hot Pockets. He wanted hot pockets (of course, he's a 20 year old guy, they love that crap!). I picked Calzones because it fit with all the other C-foods I've made this month. Plus, we stuffed them with pizza ingredients like mushrooms, green olives, zucchini, and fresh mozzarella cheese.

However, I like what Hot Pockets imply because they have so many more possible fillings than just pizza stuff. For example, you could stuff your Hot Pocket dough with chicken, broccoli, and cheddar or BBQ sauce, seitan (or mock duck), and provolone - yum! This is really more of a method than a recipe then - so use your imagination!

whole wheat pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
basil pesto (preferably homemade)
tomato or pizza sauce (preferably homemade)
sauteed mushrooms
sliced green olives
sliced fresh zucchini
sliced fresh mozzarella
grated fresh parmesan
salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes

Roll out a small piece of dough to a circle of approx 6-8 inches in diameter, and about 1/8 inch thick. Spread a thin layer of pesto over the whole dough circle, leaving about 1 inch around the edge.

On half of the dough, spread a few spoonsful of tomato sauce, then top with your desired pizza toppings. Add cheese, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.

Carefully fold your dough into a half-moon shape and use a fork to press and seal the edges together. Use the same fork to punch several holes in the top of your calzone to let the steam escape during cooking. Brush or spray tops of calzones with olive oil, then add one final light dusting of salt.

Line your baking sheets with parchment or foil. This is important - the calzones will probably bust open and cheese will seep out. Trust me, you don't want to clean that up.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the dough is golden brown. Serve with additional tomato sauce for dipping.

ONE YEAR AGO: Huevos Rancheros

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