Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ham And Cheese Calzone

My mother in law is the "Queen of Calzones".  She's been making them for years and let me tell you.... they are the best calzones out there!

She has her calzone recipe down to a science.  Three slices of this, four slices of that sprinkle of this, sprinkle of that.

You can put pretty much anything you want in a calzone which makes it a great way to use up leftovers.  You can use meatballs, sausage, ham, pepperoni, steak and you can use any type of cheese or any type of cheese combination.

 Some people shape them round, some people make smaller individual sizes but I make them like my mother in law taught me how to make them....long and skinny. If you're serving your calzone as an appetizer, try to keep it to no more than a couple of layers. All you need is one loaf of store bought  bread dough.  If it's frozen, just thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, there's no need to let if rise.

Today I'm using up some leftover deli ham, American cheese and I'm throwing in some hot peppers, because “some like it hot"...

One of the most important things about cooking your calzone is to cook it on a high temperature and to keep a close eye on it.  It will be ready when you tap on it and it sounds hollow.  You want it to be crunchy on the outside and oozing with cheese on the inside.

Preheat the oven to 400-425 degrees.  Bake for 15-25 minutes.  After about 10 minutes you will want to flip the calzone over to the other side and continue to cook for about another 10 minutes.  Keep a close eye on it though.  Tap on it.  If it sounds hollow, it's done.  Set on the counter for about 15 minutes before cutting.

Start by stretching out your thawed bread dough to
 about 6 inches wide and 20 inches long.

First layer is ham...

Second layer is cheese.

Another layer of ham.

Another layer of cheese.

Scatter around some hot peppers.

Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil all the way to the end...

Fold over the ends first...

Then fold over and seal by pressing like your making a jelly roll.

When you bake it, make sure you bake it with the seam side down...

I baked this for 20 minutes and flipped it over half way through.
  I gave it a tap and it sounded hollow..

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Shortcut Swedish Meatballs Over Egg Noodles

Every few months I take a trip to Trader Joe's in Danvers but before I go I do a little internet research to see which items are their best sellers. The frozen turkey meatballs seemed to be a big hit so a grabbed a couple of bags and threw them into the freezerI wanted to do something different with them tonight so I decided to make a mushroom gravy and serve them over wide egg noodles. The meatballs have no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and they're flame broiled.  They are the best "frozen" meatballs I've ever tried and they are great for a last minute meal! 
 You can whip this little meal up in about 12 minutes.

  1 Lb Prepared Turkey Meatballs
  4 Tablespoons Butter ( Divided)
  2 Cups Thinly Sliced Mushrooms

  2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
  2 Cups Beef Stock

  Salt and Pepper To Taste
  1 /4 Teaspoon Allspice

  1 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  2 Tablespoons Sour Cream
  1 Lb Egg Noodles
  1/2 Cup Fresh Flat-Leaf Parley Chopped 


For noodles:
Boil a large pot of water and cook the Egg Noodles according to directions on package.  When done, drain and return to pan.  Add two tablespoons of butter and chopped parley, stir to coat noodles evenly.  Cover noodles to keep warm while making the gravy.

To make the gravy:
Melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter in a skillet, scatter the mushrooms in the pan and cook until browned.  Add the 2 tablespoons of flour and continue to cook for about 1 minute while whisking. 
Add the 2 cups of beef stock and whisk until thickened slightly. Season with salt and pepper. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the sour cream and whisk until the sour cream is blended in.   Add the thawed meatballs and cook on low for 5-8 minutes.

To serve, spoon noodles on a plate, top with meatballs and gravy. 

Print Here

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spaghetti Pie

There are so many spaghetti pie recipes out there, most of them have pretty much all of the same ingredients.  The only difference that I see is that some use cottage cheese and some use ricotta cheese.  I prefer ricotta.   This is the recipe that I've always used.  Today I used whole wheat spaghetti (all I had) and the "special" sauce that was in my birthday basket. The sauce is awesome but you do have to add fresh basil, salt, pepper and a dash of sugar.
  Spaghetti Pie is a great meal that can be made ahead of time and easily re-heated right before serving.  All you need is a side salad and you're good to go!

Here's that sauce I was talking about.


1/2 Lb Spaghetti
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Lb Ground Beef
1 Small Onion Chopped
1 Clove Garlic Minced
2 Eggs
1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
2 Cups Prepared Tomato Sauce
1/2 Cup Grated Mozzarella
Olive Oil for drizzling

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a pie plate with cooking spray.
1. Boil spaghetti for 8-10 minutes. Drain and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil to keep from sticking. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add this mixture to the pasta and stir well. Set aside.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese, set aside.
4. In a medium skillet, drizzle remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil or enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion and saute on medium heat for a couple of minutes until tender. Add the garlic and cook one more minute. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Drain the grease and return to another mixing bowl.
5. Add the prepared sauce to meat mixture and stir well. Set aside.
6. Add the pasta mixture to the pie plate and spread evenly up to the edges. Spread ricotta cheese mixture over the pasta. Pour meat mixture over the ricotta cheese. Top with mozzarella.
7. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Print Recipe

Cook onion, garlic and ground beef.

Drain fat, add prepared tomato sauce.

Mix beaten eggs and parm cheese. ( its the glue)

Mix the ricotta and parm cheese.

Spray pie pan

Add glue to cooked spaghetti.

Spread into pie pan.

Spread Ricotta over pasta.

Spread meat mixture over ricotta.

Sprinkle with 1/2 mozzarella cheese.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 1/2 hour.
Let set on counter for 15 minutes before cutting.