I'm not a huge fan of pizza. There, I said it. This pains my husband, but he still loves. However, I love a good calzone with gooey cheese. After flipping through Emeril's newest cookbook, Emeril's Kicked-Up Sandwiches: Stacked with Flavor, his Sopressata and Genoa Salami Calzones jumped out at me. I thought it'd be a fun to make with the kids.
When I the kids cook with me, I prep all the ingredients before they're allowed to touch anything. I can't step away to grab ingredients because I don't trust my toddler not to stuff all the shredded mozzarella in his mouth. Because he will, as soon as I turn my back. (Which he did.)
The recipe calls for homemade semolina pizza dough and homemade tomato sauce. I'm a busy mom so I improvised. I picked up two different kinds of pre-made pizza dough from Trader Joe's: garlic herb and whole wheat. I just pulled the dough out of the fridge about an hour before we started to let it get to room temperature . We also used jarred sauce. Sssshhh. Don't tell Emeril.
See? My toddler is so cute, I couldn't get mad at him for trying to stuff an entire bowl of shredded cheese in his mouth. I helped the kids roll out the dough. My daughter was very serious as she added her fillings. The order was super duper important. My toddler, however, just tossed stuff on the dough. Neither kids wanted sauce. Even my little ketchup lover above has decided he hates tomatoes. I tried to explain that ketchup was made from said tomatoes but I think he's in denial.
The kids had so much fun making their calzones, they each made one more. That worked out because the first batch had time to bake and cool in the meantime. Thank goodness there was still some dough left so I could make one each for me and my husband.
Kid verdict: My daughter loved her calzone, but they were a little too doughy. I think we needed to roll it a bit thinner. My son picked all the filling out of his and then dipped his crust in the olive oil I prepared. We all liked the garlic herb crust much better than the whole wheat. For some reason, the whole wheat didn't rise well during baking.
The recipe is definitely going into our repertoire. We all love salami and I never thought about putting ricotta in my calzones until now. I saved a lot of time with my shortcuts (pre-made dough and jarred sauce).
Remember a couple of weeks ago, when Emeril tweeted me? As one of the #SeriousSandwich blogger, a cookalong sponsored by Morrow Cookbooks, I'm cooking my way through Emeril's newest cookbook, Emeril's Kicked-Up Sandwiches: Stacked with Flavor (now available for pre-order), along with the other (really amazing) food bloggers.
Want to try the calzones for yourself? Here's the recipe, courtesy of Emeril and The Secret Ingredient blog.
- 1 recipe Semolina Pizza Dough (page 298)
- 1 cup Quick Tomato Sauce for Calzones (recipe follows) or your favorite jarred pizza/pasta sauce
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 8 ounces mixed sopressata, hot sopressata, Genoa salami, and/or pepperoni, chopped
- 1 cup ricotta cheese, drained
- 8 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Flour or cornmeal, for dusting the pizza peel
1. Place a pizza stone in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F. (Alternatively, place an upside-down rimmed baking sheet on the rack in your oven.)
2. Halve one of the pieces of dough and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to form two 8-inch rounds. Spread ¼ cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom half of each round, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the basil and one-quarter of the cured meats evenly over each portion of sauce. Sprinkle one-quarter of the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and crushed red pepper over each portion of meat. Gently fold the top half of the dough over the filling, rolling and pressing the edges together with your fingertips to seal them, and crimping as you go along. Make 2 more calzones with the remaining ingredients.
3. Depending on the size of your oven, you may be able to bake only 2 calzones at a time. Cut several small slits in the top of each calzone to allow air to escape while baking, and transfer the calzones to a pizza peel that has been lightly dusted with flour or cornmeal (to facilitate moving the dough). Tilt the pizza peel to slide the calzones onto the preheated baking stone. Bake for 16 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the dough is cooked through. Remove the calzones from the oven with the pizza peel or a spatula, and serve immediately or at room temperature.
As a Serious Sandwich blogger, I received a copy of the cookbook plus a couple of supplies. All opinions are my own.