Friday, June 22, 2012


Gorge day

Once in a while, me and my older brother have gorge days. Basically it is a day where I create a dish that satisfies our craving for something cheesy, crispy and crunchy. My solution is Calzones. Now, before thinking about the classic one, this is completely different. It includes a variety of meats, vegetables and antipasti. The beauty of a calzone is you can adapt the recipe for the ingredients you like. Treat your calzone as a blank canvas and you are the culinary artist creating a master piece. But with this art, you can eat it!! It is absolutely genius and so satisfying at the same time. If you are on a diet plan I would avoid adding lots of meat and replace it with vegetables.

The 'Calzone' rules:
1. The dough must be thin and crispy
2. The tomato sauce must be made from fresh tomatoes and include lots of herbs
3. The ingredients must be of high quality
4. Raw meats like chicken must be cooked before placed in the calzone
5. Include lots of fresh herbs like basil, oregano or rosemary
6. Make sure your oven is hot.
7. Never add ricotta cheese or cottage cheese, it is unpleasant on your palate.
These rules must be followed if you want the end product to be perfect.
1. The dough, combine 450g of white bread flour, 14g of fast action yeast, 30ml of olive oil, 1tbsp of oregano, 1 1/2 tsp of salt and 300 ml of lukewarm water. Mix in a bowl until it forms a dough like form. Then slowly add 100ml of water into the dough while mixing.
2. Your dough now is really wet and sticky. Place on a heavily floured board and knead for 6 mins. After kneading place the dough back in the bowl and allow to prove for 1 hour in a warm room.
3. After proving punch the dough back down and allow to prove again for 1 hour. Or leave it to the side until needed.
4. Tomato sauce, place 2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Then add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and 1 large diced onion. Saute the mixture until slightly golden. Add 5 diced fresh tomatoes and allow to cook for 2 mins mixing with a wooden spoon.
5. Add 1tbsp of salt, 1tbsp of oregano, 1/2tsp of ground black pepper and a pinch of sugar. Stir in the seasonings and taste. You want a balance of sweetness against freshness.
6. Allow the sauce to cook for 5-6 mins to concentrate the flavours. 
7. Once the sauce is cooked place the sauce in a bowl to cool down. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Leave to the side.
8. Place all your antipasti in bowls and place to the side.
9. Roll out your dough: Firstly, preheat your oven to 220C and get a heavy baking tray out ready to place your calzones on. Now place your dough on a lightly floured board and divide into 13 pieces. Roll out your dough until it looks like a pizza, it should be 1 1/2 cm thick. Then place on the baking tray and place 1-2 tbsp of your tomato sauce, lightly spread it all around the dough.
10. Then on one half of the pizza dough, place your toppings, e.g mozzarella cheese, parma ham, antipasti. Its your choice. Once you have placed your topping on one half of the pizza dough. Fold the other half over to create like a pasty or parcel. Seal the ends of the dough by pressing down with your fingers. Repeat steps 9 and 10 to make more calzones
11. Bake for 30 mins or until crispy and golden.
12. Serve with some of your tomato sauce and a bowl of fresh zesty salad to refresh your palate.  Enjoy!!

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