Monday, June 7, 2010

The Mini-Calzones

I have learned two very important things tonight.  One is that you cannot call your camera like a dog.  Well, you can, but no matter how long and hard you call, it will not respond.  The other is that when you live alone and you can't find your stuff, you have nobody to blame but yourself.  That last one was disappointing (the first one is just kind of embarrassing).

Tonight, I also learned that I have outdone myself.  I didn't think it could be done, but alas, the mini calzones top even the most delightful of strombolis, and that's saying a lot.  And that everything comes out better when prepared while watching Firefly...

I decided to make small calzones because I don't love them when they're big (not enough bread-to-filling ratio), and because there is just one of me, so little, compact food makes sense.  I decided to make two fillings because I am an overachiever.

I began by biking to CVS before Whole Foods.  This is only important because it means that I biked 3.4 miles instead of 1.2 miles and that means I can eat more crap.

I decided I wanted to use the asparagus I bought yesterday at the South End Farmers Market, but also wanted spinach and feta, so two fillings...

I made up both fillings because of my aforementioned aversion to following other people's recipe (except for baking, baking on the fly scares the crap out of me.  I envision thins overflowing in my oven...). 

Approximate recipes:
Spinach-Cheese Filling:
Combine 1 box frozen spinach, thawed, with a sauteed half an onion, chopped.  Then squeeze out all the liquid.  Add 1/3 package of low-fat cream cheese, cut into chunks and combine.  Add 6oz of crumbled feta and one beaten egg.  The cheese and the egg helped the spinach calzones keep their shape excellently.

Asparagus Filling:
I put the asparagus in the sauce a la the artichoke tomato sauce.  I sauteed the other half of the onion for a good bit and added the asparagus, chopped into about 1/2" pieces.   Let that cook for a few minutes and then add a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes (this time with garlic).  I let that all simmer for another 10 minutes or so.  In the meantime I cut up mushrooms and opened a can of sliced olives to put on top.  I used mozzarella cheese and a three-cheese combo (fontina, asiago and parmesan, I think).

Both kinds of calzones were prepared the same.  I divided the dough into six pieces and rolled the into circles, maybe 7 or so inches across.  Put filling on one half and then folded the other half over.  I pressed the edges with my fingers and with a fork and with my fingers again.  Nothing leaked too.  It was a success in that regard.

Baked at 450 for about 15-18 minutes.

Here are four of them (I had half of each other the other two for dinner).  Obviously, I'm not going to win a prize for consistency any time soon, but they were both delicious. 
I think I might like the spinach one a little better, but it has more cheese in it, it's not that surprising. 
By the way, they were baked on parchment paper, which I really think might be man's greatest creation.  I didn't grow up in a parchment paper or a paper towel household and I'm not sure how we existed.  Of course, between the three of us, we would have used a roll of paper towels a day, so I'm sure the trees and my parents' ability to retire appreciate it.

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