Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Calzones - Bringing leftovers together and out of your fridge!

Calzone - a delicious pouch containing most of the contents of my fridge
I think I've said this before but in this household, throwing out food is a capital offense. Leftover scraps from dinner are saved, little bits of vegetables are saved in Ziplocs and fruit about to spoil is frozen or consumed in smoothies. I normally serve leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day and use scraps of veggies in my next meal, but sometimes I cook 3 distinct dinners in a row. This leads to my fridge becoming overwhelmed with Tupperware and tiny plastic bags. A cluttered fridge is a huge pet peeve of mine so dinner last night had to be something that could combine strongly seasoned Moroccan Kefta, Mongolian marinaded pulled beef, and some left over salami into a delicious meal. No easy task as those 3 leftovers are as different flavour-wise as possible!

But after thinking long and hard I came up with the, I think brilliant, idea to make calzones. Some strongly seasoned Italian marinara sauce should be able to bring all those distinct flavours together. 

And it worked like a charm! These calzones did double duty: they were a delicious dinner and they cleaned out my fridge! 

Calzones - warm from the oven and ready to be devoured! 

Calzones

makes 2 calzones and serves 4

Ingredients:
  • One batch of perfect pizza crust halved (put one half in the freezer after 1st rise) and split into 2 pieces (split the remaining half of the dough into 2 pieces). (Recipe here)
  • Jar of your favourite marinara sauce. -I use Newman's Own
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese/mozzarella cheese/both!
  • about 4 cups of leftovers! - I chopped up leftover kefta, pulled beef, salami, onion and red bell pepper and heated it all up in a skillet until the veggies softened. I also seasoned the meat mixture with garlic, onion, basil and oregano to bring more flavor cohesion to the different meats. 
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 500F if using a pizza stone or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 480F if using a baking sheet topped with a silpat.
  2. Roll out the 2 pieces of dough into a circle the size of  a small pizza. 
  3. Spoon marinara sauce onto one half of the circle leaving an inch of space along the edge. Top with left overs, then cheese and fold the topping-free side over top of the toppings (Like when making apple turn-overs or perogies). Repeat with 2nd portion of dough
  4. Pinch the edges together to seal and fold up to make a pretty edge. Place on parchment paper or silpat. Using a sharp knife stab a few holes into the top of the calzone to let steam escape.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Cool for 5 mins and then slice and serve with warmed remaining marinara sauce.