Monday, September 12, 2011

Calzone Poppers

Try to ignore the fact that the pan is different in this picture than the rest of the post!  This photo was taken when I made these over Labor Day.

Before we get to the Poppers, you're going to have to indulge me for a few minutes of observations from my weekend sports watching.  

First of all, the college football game everyone is talking about around the water coolers this morning....Michigan and Notre Dame.  Ugh.  Poor hubs.  He had such high hopes for his beloved Irish this year.  Brian Kelly was supposed to return them to the promised land by bringing that high-powered offense with him from Cincinnati.  Unfortunately he also brought along his defense.  Do they even have a secondary?

He's been able to find solace in cheering for the Buckeyes the past several years, but that may not work out for him this year either.  We almost, and should have, got beat by Toodle-le-do.  Holy Toledo was that ugly.  If it weren't for untimely and costly penalties on their part, we'd be the Michigan of 2011.  Could be a long night in next Saturday's Cheater's Bowl.

And finally, I had to watch another inappropriate outburst from Serena Williams.  She's all rainbows and unicorns when she's kicking someone's tennis panties, but boy howdy does she get testy when the tables are turned.  Did you hear her tirade directed at the chair ump on the changeover?  Here's a thought, Serena.....learn these words... "I'm sorry.  I was WRONG."  Because, once again, you were.  Wrong for screaming out and celebrating a point that was not yet over, wrong for arguing with and attempting to intimidate the chair umpire because you don't know the rules, wrong for accusing her of being someone she wasn't, wrong for continuing to berate and belittle her on the changeover, and wrong for inappropriately and embarrassingly representing your country to the rest of the world on such an important and historic day.  And finally wrong for selfishly diminishing Sam Stosur's moment.  Because she deserved that moment for spanking your tennis panties 2 and 3.  You owe her and us an apology.  One that we'll never get because you did the same thing two years ago to Kim Clijsters and we never got an apology for that one either.  

Okay.  I'm finished.  On to the poppers.  These are a version of my mother's famous Calzone recipe and are perfect for you next game day party. 

Start with your favorite bread or pizza dough.

Bridgeford bread dough is the brand we've used for years to make the calzone.  It comes in packs of three frozen loaves.  I usually sit mine out first thing in the morning to thaw to be ready for dinner.  One loaf made about 16 poppers.   Sit the dough out to thaw and let it rise then punch it down before you start separating off chunks for the poppers.

I don't normally put pesto in the calzone, but I had about a half of a cup of my Lemon-Basil Pesto left from last weekend so I decided to use it up.  It's up to you if you add it or not.  They're perfectly delicious without it.

Fresh Mozzarella.   Last time I made them I used the small mozzarella balls but all I had were the larger ones this time.  I just cut them into small cubes.  Worked fine.


And one clove of garlic to rub all over the dish you'll be baking them in.  I used a deep dish pie plate.

Why does my had look so fat?

Simply pinch off a generous chunk of dough.  You'll need enough to wrap around the pepperoni and cheese without any openings.

I put the cheese inside the pepperoni

Wrap the dough tightly around and make sure it's sealed well.

Here's one with the pesto.  I spread it on first then proceeded with the pepperoni and mozzarella.

Tuck them all into your dish (I had sprayed mine with cooking spray).  Brush on an egg wash (one egg, slightly beaten) and grate some fresh parmesan on top.  You can either pop these into a 350 degree oven now or cover and refrigerate to bake later.  Both work fine.  Bake for about 20 minutes until they are nicely browned on top.

I serve mine with a bowl of my favorite marinara sauce and watch them disappear.

Here's the recipe for my favorite pesto:

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1/2 cup oregano leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
juice and zest from one lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a food processor, pulse the pine nuts with the basil, parsley and oregano leaves, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil until combined.  Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and pulse until smooth.  Scrape the pesto into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Can be stored in refrigerator tightly covered for up to two weeks.

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