Tuesday, July 16, 2013
On a recent trip to Italy I was fortunate enough to try the local goodies from the fast pizza shops and stands. One yummy treat was the calzone! It is a stuffed pizza enclosed like a pie. When I got home I thought I would make my own.
1 pkg. prepared pizza dough (I used Trader Joe's)
1 15oz. container ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage
1/2 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 tsp fresh oregano
salt & pepper
Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft. Add the ground beef or sausage. Add salt and pepper. Cook until the pink is gone, mashing with a fork to make it fine. When done set aside and let slighly cool. Combine ricotta cheese with the mozzarella, egg, oregano, & parsley. Combine cheese mixture with the meat mixture.
Break off small handfuls of the pizza dough (about 1 to 2 oz.). Roll each ball on a lightly floured surface to form a circle. Place a few tablespoons of the meat & cheese mixture in the middle of the circle. Be careful not to let it touch the edges of the circle. Fold the circle in half with the mixture in it. Close the two sides shut by pinching and folding the dough around the open edge. Place each calzone on a parchment lined baking sheet. Before putting the oven, brush the top of each calzone with a little beaten egg. Bake in a 400 for 10-12 minutes. Serve with a marinara sauce on the side.
* you can use any type of filling in these; scrambled eggs, ham, or pepperoni.
Monday, July 8, 2013
We were in luck the day that we arrived. The traveling flower and herb market and shown up. It travels from town to town up and down the Cinque Terra. You could feel the excitement from the locals as the beautiful basil was unveiled from the vendor. I just imagined the restaurateurs making pesto for their homemade pastas!
Anything you could ever want was on this main drag that made up the small town. We stopped in a small take-away pizza shop to eat fresh pizza. There were several gelato stores. My favorite flavor was Kit Kat. There were clothiers, grocers, cheese stores, meat stores. It was all there and more. I miss the cute town of Vernazza, and hope to return again someday!
My boys often ask me what my favorite foods are. It is a silly game that really makes me think about the loves of my life. Well, the food loves of my life! I have come to the conclusion that heirloom tomatoes are a food love of mine! They are so sweet, and they seem to be the only tomato in the store that actually smells like a tomato should! With that said, my favorite way to eat tomatoes is in a thin soup.
First I quarter my tomatoes and put them on a jellyroll pan. I sprinkle salt and pepper over with a drizzle of olive oil. Into the oven they go at 400 degrees. I watch for them as they roast to get soft. It takes 30 to 40 minutes to draw out the sweet juices. I take them out of the oven and remove the tough skins from them.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Turn the stove on to get a rolling boil on the cherry mixture. Turn the heat down and let simmer for 1 or 2 minutes. Depending on your stove it may take longer. I have a gas grill with fire. A flat cook-top may take longer. The mixture should turn thick when you stick a spoon in. When that happens it is done cooking. Set the hot pot aside to cool down to lukewarm.
I used Trader Joe's frozen pie dough. I know many will say, "but it is so easy to make pie crust..." Well, I am here to tell you that after attending cooking school for a year, and working on pies only for three weeks, I could never master pie dough. Puff pastry? No problem. So frozen dough it was for me. After getting the dough and filling assembled, I gave the crust a little egg wash (egg yoke and 1 Tsp of water) Then I sprinkled the pie with a little sugar.
Preheat the oven to 375. In the oven place a parchment lined jellyroll pan. Let the pan heat up. When the oven is ready, take the pan out of the oven and place the pie on it. This will aid in not getting your oven dirty if there is a spill. Bake the pie for 45 - 55 minutes. Let the pie cool for several hours before cutting. And there is your 4th of July treat!
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
To cure the ham, the meat with bone still in is stacked and then covered in salt. It cures in a cool area for several days to draw out the moisture. After this process that ham is hung to completely dry in a drying shed that is in the cool mountains. Here they sit to cure for anywhere from 6 to 18 months.
To eat the ham the Spanish slice the meat razor thin. The full flavor is gained from doing this. They eat the ham on its own, paired with cheese and fruits, or on a sandwich. It makes a great snack, appetizer or meal.