I had so much fun making these! What a great night. It was the perfect thing to make for a crowd as everyone got to choose their own stuffing and try their hand at putting their dinner together! I was inspired to make these because I had time on my hands and felt like having a little “chopping therapy” in the kitchen. This dish is great in that I got to be quietly by myself for the prep, and then cooking them was like a party.
My neighbor and friend Lori was leaving town for the summer so we invited her over to say goodbye. My friend Tom had dropped in earlier and whisked the kids of for ice-cream, so, of course he was invited too! That’s all it took for my house to turn into the loud and crazy place that I love it to be.
We cooled off with a lovely bottle of white wine from a local winery (Blair Vineyards) and some beer. Tom became the hero of the hour when he presented me with 2 big boxes of fresh strawberries. Calzones were assembled and cooked and we all ate until we felt like calzones ourselves (I know, corny analogy!)
I am so happy that I make the effort to cook dinner every night. I always have something to look forward to!
Calzone Dough Recipe (makes 12)
You will Need: 6 cups white unbleached flour, 2 packages rapid rise yeast (each package is 2 1/4 tsp), 1 tsp coarse sea salt (or kosher salt), 2/3 cups olive oil, 2 cups warm water.
1 – Dissolve the yeast in a couple of tbs of the warm water. Measure flour into a big bowl and add the salt. Whisk it into the flour to incorporate evenly.
2 – Make a well and add the oil. Use your hands to crumble the oil throughout the flour. Add the yeast mixture to the warm water in a little bowl or jug and pour into the flour. Mix it together with a wooden spoon and then flour the counter-top and knead for 4 or 5 minutes.
3 – Turn the dough back into the bowl and cover with a cloth. It will rise in about 2 hours (I let it go for 3 hours and it was fine)
4 – Punch down the dough and knead for about a minute. Divide the dough into 12 dough balls. I was pretty abusive with the dough (changing sizes and adding bits to one from another) and it didn’t seem to matter. So, if you are not a pro like me, this is the dough for you! Set the dough balls on a floured board and cover until ready to assemble calzones.
Stuffings for Calzones:
You will need: 2 Jalapeno peppers, sliced, 1 can Plum tomatoes, Sliced, 1 Green Pepper, Diced, 1 cup fresh oregano leaves, 8 large white mushrooms, sliced, 1lb Provolone Cheese, grated, 1 lb mozzarella Cheese, large cubes,1 1/2 cups sliced hard salami, 5 cups cooked chicken breast.
Recipe for Chicken
You will need: 6 skinless chicken breasts, 1 cup chicken broth, 4 tbs olive oil, salt and pepper.
1 – Put big pan on high heat and add 4 tbs olive oil. Season chicken with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Fry until brown on both sides (about 2 minutes per side.
2 – Turn heat down to low and wait a minute or 2 before adding a cup of chicken broth. Let it come to a gently simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit 5 or 10 minutes before slicing for calzone stuffing.
Recipe For Mushrooms
You will Need: 8 very big white mushrooms, sliced, 1 tbs unsalted butter, 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
1 – Put pan on medium heat and add butter and oil. When butter has melted add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until mushrooms have started to brown. Place in bowl and set aside.
Ready to Assemble and Cook Calzones
Preheat oven 450*
Pound down a dough ball with the palm of your hand until you have a biggish disc. At this point you can use a floured rolling-pin to do the rest of the stretching OR try your hand at shaping by hand. They should be about 9″ in diameter when you are done. Don’t get too hung-up about the shape. Something sort of roundish will do!
Coat a big baking sheet with plenty of olive oil before putting calzone in to bake. Cook Calzones anywhere from 11 to 14 minutes. Check after 10 minutes to guage rest of cooking time.