Thursday, September 17, 2009

VEGGIE CALZONES

Lately I've been making calzones. They are a very versatile "hot sandwich" and since they require small amounts of filling...they are a good way to us any leftovers on hand. Hubby loves big meat sandwiches, so I've made them with leftover BBQ chicken, steak & cheese, ham & cheese, crisp bacon & cheese and yes, pizza goodies.

Personally, I like my calzones stuffed to the brim with veggies and a little pizza sauce & cheese. I have found, through trial and error, that you have to saute your veggies until tender then drain them well on a paper towel. If you don't, you will get a soggy-bottom crust on your sandwich. Any veggies will work. Roasted veggies are excellent, so are grilled veggies. Tonight I was lazy, so I just sauteed some broccoli, mushrooms, garlic, green onions and kidney beans, but usually, the more veggie variety the better.

I use my regular bread dough recipe (CLICK HERE) and jazz it up with 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder(add seasonings when you add the liquid in the recipe).

Normally, I would rather cut my arm off than show anyone my oven, but I wanted you to see MY secret for getting a pizzeria style pizza crust. It doesn't look like anything special, but it is truly the best way to cook pizza at home.

My hubby came up with this idea about 10 years ago when I was complaining that my pizza stone wasn't working the way I wanted it to (I wanted a crispy crust with nice pillowy edges). He cut a 1/4" thick piece of steel (to fit my oven) and I seasoned it like a cast iron frying pan. After you have seasoned it, you never grease it or wash it again, just wipe it off.....nothing sticks to it.
I preheat my oven (and the steel sheet) to 450 degrees and use cornmeal on my pizza peal so that the prepared pizza (or calzone) will slide off directly onto this sheet of hot steel (no pan). Bake for 8 minutes, then switch the heat to broil and (watching it carefully) let it broil for about 2 more minutes or until it is the color you want. It works great...no more doughy "steamed" crusts.

For calzones, you will need a ball of yeast dough about the size of a hardball. Roll it out to a nice thin circle. Place a mound of sauteed, and drained, veggies on one side of the circle and top them with 1/4 cup of pizza sauce (CLICK HERE FOR MY PIZZA SAUCE) and a serious hand full of grated mozzarella cheese. Fold the "empty" side of the calzone over the filling and pinch the edges together. Once pinched together, roll the pinched dough edge back onto itself to form a very tight seal. Using scissors, snip several vent holes in the top of the calzone. Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes or until nice and golden. Just as soon as they come out of the oven, brush them with butter and sprinkle with parmesan and coarse salt.
VEGGIE CALZONE CUT IN HALF

17 comments:

Heidi said...

These look great Coleen! I've never done a veggie calzone... I need to give it a try :)

Lara said...

I'm intrigued by that pizza sheet. You and your husband are very creative.

My kids are of the opinion that everything is better wrapped in bread, so this looks like a great way to get some veggies into their diet.

Ingrid said...

Hey, Coleen! I want that half..'kay?!

Very cool invention of your hubby's. Patent, baby, patent! :)
~ingrid

Judy said...

Coleen, The calzones look wonderful, but I am most intrigued by the steel sheet that you bake them on. I'm wondering how it works as compared to the pizza stone or quarry tiles, since, like everyone else, I'm trying to find THE pizza recipe with a thin, crisp crust.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Good for you for making your own! The calzone looks perfect. I have made them a couple of times, but really should do it more often.

Anonymous said...

OH YUM! Thanks for the recipe! This looks so good and I love your pizza 'stone' :)

Monica H said...

What a neat idea for a pizza stone. These calzones look yummy too!

Katy ~ said...

I have not made a veggie only calzone and now I wonder why not because it looks soooo good! I just love the way you have it packed full of veggie and cheesy goodness!

Katy ~ said...

I have not made a veggie only calzone and now I wonder why not because it looks soooo good! I just love the way you have it packed full of veggie and cheesy goodness!

Katy ~ said...

I have not made a veggie only calzone and now I wonder why not because it looks soooo good! I just love the way you have it packed full of veggie and cheesy goodness!

Nishant said...

I'm intrigued by that pizza sheet. You and your husband are very creative.
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Kristen said...

Thanks for the how-to on the calzones!

Valerie said...

Oh yum! Oh yum! I wish I had that for lunch today.

Aubree said...

These look really yummy! I saw your link in this weeks Just Another Meatless Monday. I love the steel idea too!

~Aubree Cherie

Laura said...

Wow! I need one of those pizza sheets too! The calzones look so great I love veggie style too!

Sweet and Savory said...

Yum! I just found your blog and already love it! I've never made calzones, but I'm willing to give it a shot:)

Christina said...

I've made calzones twice before but I'm embarrassed to say neither time came out as beautiful as yours!! Mine looked a little "home made," but yours are terrific! I love that they're stuffed w/ healthy veggies, too! That steel sheet is totally awesome! Your hubby rocks for coming up w/ that idea!