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

Filling Ingredients:

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.

Dough Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 packet yeast
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons oil
1 egg

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

More primroses!

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!


Thibeault's Table said...

Yum!!. It is just 6:00 AM here on the west coast and my mouth is watering for your Calzones. ~Ann

Marsha said...

I have never tried calzones but yours look so good I will be a copycat soon :)

I can't believe your abundance of spring blossoms already. Teensy bit jealous...

Marigene said...

Looks delicious, Suzy! Can you believe I have never made calzones...they have to be somewhat like empandas, instead of fried they are baked.
Your primrose are beautiful. My lilacs are barely blooming, they will be gone in a few days with the heat we have been having, though.

Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook said...

Your calzones look delicious! Love your filling, we usually just get plain old cheese. The flowers are so pretty. Not sure if I'll get an abundance of lilacs this year, Frankie ate most of the branches on it :( so I am looking forward to your pics.

Debbie@Mountain Breaths said...

I've only seen Hepatica growing in the woods. It is so sweet and lovely! We love calzone!! Joe makes them, no recipe :-)

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

It's amazing we have the same things blooming right now. This is the first year I can remember that I actually had hellebores blooming during Lent! Crazy weather here early in March.

Delicious-looking calzones!

Beth said...

Suzy, Your anemones and primroses are beautiful! I have never seen primroses for sale in a garden center, so this year, I decided to try to start some from seed. Happy Easter!

Zoe said...

I'm admiring all your flowers pictures. It's autumn now at down-under and at least the roses are in season...but just for a while only :(

Your calzones look very delicious! And so as your other cooking... I'm your latest follower :D

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

That's the cookbook I refer back too as well, Suzy. I have found some of my favorite recipes in it. Bet my copy is older than yours. I got mine as a shower gift in 1963. It's falling apart but I still use it all the time. Your spring flower photos are so pretty. I'm just waiting for some warm spring days.

Blossomedge said...

I just love your blog and your floral photos, Suzy, so I nominated you for the Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling! You can find more information about the award at Keep up your beautiful blogging! :)
~ Joanie

Trisha said...

Great looking Calzones and pretty flowers, this sure brightened up my Monday ....

I'm hosting a giveaway over at my blog and would love for you to stop by and participate.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin