Calzones at Home
Tonight we enjoyed calzones at home.
Mr. J’s is pictured to the left (I apologize for my lack of photography skills). I make this quite often, and it is very easy to customize since our tastes differ. There are four basic components, and it is very similar to making pizza. You need crust, cheese, sauce, and your favorite fillings. Mr. J always has pepperoni as his filling. Always. I usually enjoy some variation of veggie or if I’m lacking in supplies, cheese is just as tasty by itself.
For the crust, I usually go the cheater route with the packaged kind that mixes with hot water. Start by heating the oven to the specified temp (mine calls for 475 degrees). In a mixing bowl, dump out the package contents and measure out the hot water (this is the difficult part, the water must be hot). Mix the water into the flour mixture with a fork. With clean hands, pour a little olive oil (approx. 1 Tablespoon) into your palm and coat the ball of dough. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm place for at least 5 minutes to rise while you prep everything else.
Next, for my calzone filling, I need to get some veggies going. I usually turn to the freezer where I keep lots of mixed veggies on hand for stuff like this. Tonight, I used spring mix (brocoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, and squash) with frozen diced green peppers and fresh diced onion. Before I began, I chopped all of the veggies into smaller pieces. I thaw and cook the veggies in a sauce pan with a little water (make sure to drain all of the excess water before adding to your calzone or your crust will come apart like mine did tonight. Why do you think there is no picture of it?).
For the cheese, I use two different kinds. The first one is easy. I use shredded Italian mix from Kroger when I can, but mozzarella works just fine. You’ll need about 1/4 cup per calzone (I don’t measure). The second cheese is low-fat ricotta. I season the ricotta before I construct the calzones to give it a little more oomph. I spoon out about a cup to use for both and add S&P, Italian seasoning, and three cloves of fresh minced garlic.
Last but not least is the sauce for dipping. Tonight, I used sauce I made last night for pasta, but other times I go one of two routes. I make a quick pizza sauce or I open a jar of spaghetti sauce and heat it up.
To build the calzones, spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Coat your palms with oil like before so the dough won’t stick to your hands and divide the dough in half. Flatten one of the pieces of dough to about 8″ around on one half of the pan. I can’t fit both rounds on my baking sheet at the same time, but I don’t want to get my hands messy twice. So I fold the first piece in half so it’s out of the way while I get the second piece flattened out and ready to go. If there is a light coating of oil, the dough shouldn’t stick to itself while you prep the other one. Once the second crust is ready to go, wash the oil off of your hands with warm water. Put half of the seasoned ricotta, some shredded cheese, and a layer of pepperonis on top. Very carefully fold the dough over the toppings and roll the bottom up over it to seal (reference the picture). For the second one, unfold the dough, place the remaining ricotta and shredded cheese in the middle with the drained veggie mixture. Fold over as before. Make sure there are steam vents in the top of both by pinching with your fingers or use a fork. I have done egg washes before, but since it’s just the two of us, I usually just skip this step.
Ingredient list (Makes 2):
- 1 package of pizza dough mix
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup of low-fat ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- S&P to taste
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella or Italian mix cheese
- 10 pepperoni slices
- 1/2 cup frozen mixed veggies, chopped and cooked
- Pizza or spaghetti sauce for dipping (Pizza sauce recipe)