Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cowboy Calzones

I've been wanting to make calzones for a while now, but just hadn't taken the time to find a good recipe. As always, The Pioneer Woman and Your Homebased Mom came through for me and delivered "Cowboy Calzones" - the ultimate Calzone full of lots and lots of yummy things. BUT you can get creative and put absolutely ANYTHING you want inside... My original idea was to do a breakfast type Calzone with sausage, egg and cheese, but Joe nixed that idea. Maybe next time.

Pizza Crust

Yield: 2 pizza crusts


1 tsp or 1/2 packet active dry yeast

1 1/2 C warm water

4 C all-purpose flour

1 tsp kosher salt

1/3 C extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

In a mixing bowl, pour the yeast over 1 1/2 cups of warm water, stirring gently. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Using an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, mixing until the dough forms a ball. (You can also do this by hand.)

Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl. Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil. Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Divide the dough in half, then using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape, pressing it into an oiled pan with your fingers. The thinner the better. The surface of the dough should be lumpy from finger marks. The other half of the dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days before use, or frozen for up to 6 months.

Cowboy Calzone

1/2 lb. hot breakfast sausage (I used mild)

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 onion, finely diced

1 – 8 oz. can tomatoes and chilies (Rotel brand)

8 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese

1/2 C grated mozzarella cheese

1/2 C grated Monterey Jack cheese

1 egg, beaten

salt and black pepper

1 recipe pizza crust (1/2 of above recipe)

olive oil for brushing

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large skillet combine the sausage and hamburger with the onion. Brown and drain off extra grease. Pour in the tomatoes and chilies.

Stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a bowl combine the three cheeses and the egg. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Add the cooled meat mixture to the cheese mixture and stir to gently combine.

Divide the pizza dough into 8 equal size balls. With a rolling pin on a floured surface, roll each ball into a 6 inch circle.

Place one eighth of the meat/cheese mixture in the middle of each circle. Fold half of the circle over the other half, gently pressing to slightly spread and flatten the filling inside. Press a fork along the edge to seal closed then transfer the calzone to a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Brush the top of calzone with olive oil.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. EnJOY!

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