I spent my Sunday getting things ready for the school week. I went to bed last night tired, but happy because the week would be easier. I woke up this morning only to discover that it was a snow day. All that work was not for nothing however, it just means less work for the rest of the week!
Part of my preparation was making calzones. I had this great plan to heat them up then wrap them in foil for the kids lunches. My thoughts were that the foil would help them stay warm until the first nutrition break. I was so excited for them to have that warm delicious inside out pizza (o.k. so I need some mental help). I guess that I will have to wait until tomorrow for that fulfillment.
The funny thing is that I have never personally eaten or made a calzone before. I was entering uncharted territory. I checked foodnetwork.com and looked at a few calzone recipes. All of them called for pizza dough, and basically pizza ingredients. I could do this.
I began by frying onions, grated garlic and red peppers in olive oil and salt and pepper. I wish that you could bottle up that smell. Oh my goodness it smelled so good. The amazing smell traveled all through the house. When they had all softened I let them cool.
I had made my dough, cooked my veggies and added them to store bought pizza sauce, cut my pepperoni and ham into small strips, finely grated a mixture of mozzarella, parmesan and asigo cheese. I had rolled out my first bit of dough into the size of a small luncheon plate, when a little blonde dynamo walked into the kitchen. "I'm your helper Mommy." "That's o.k. I don't need any help, but thank you." I said in sing song voice. "Oh, I'm helping you!" Her little hands were on her hips, that determined look on her little face. There was no point in a battle, she had already won.
We set up a little assembly line. I would roll the dough, and add the messy pizza sauce, blonde Hitler would add the meats and the cheese. I hate to admit it, but it was really quite fun having her help out.
After the calzone was fully loaded I wet the bottom of the dough the way I would for pie. I then folded it over and pressed it shut. When I had transfered it to the parchment lined cookie sheet, I pressed down a fork along the outside of the edge to really seal it.
After the calzone was filled, and folded and pressed, I dipped a basting brush into the leftover olive oil that I had saved from the veggies. I lightly spread the flavoured oil onto the top of the almost finished calzone. The last touch was to add a fine sprinkle of finely grated asiago cheese on the top.
I had preheated the oven to 500 degrees before I began my other preparations. When I was ready to put the first batch of calzones in it was really hot and ready. I was able to fit four at a time onto the cookie sheet. I cooked them for 11 minutes. The whole house smelled like a pizzeria.
I let the first batch cool while I popped in the second and then third batch. They grew by almost half in the oven. They looked really pretty, and smelled like heaven. I had to fight the kids off while they cooled enough for them to try one. I divided one into four pieces because I had made them for school lunches, and if given the opportunity the kids would eat them all at once. It took a long time for them to cool, which told me that it would be great for school lunch.
Before the kids tried their calzone, Elly made an announcement. "Before you eat, you have to thank Mommy and I for being good cookers." The kids all begrudgingly thank us. Our experiment was a huge success. Now my obsessive brain is in overtime thinking about all of different fillings I could use next time.