Saturday, May 1, 2010

Meaty Calzones

A couple of my weekly personal chef clients are hooked on old-fashioned comfort food. Nothing pleases their families more than Baked Ziti, Meatloaf, Grilled Marinated Flank Steak or Oven-Fried Chicken. Now and then they branch out (two chose Vegetable Enchiladas this week), but for the most part, they ask me to prepare familiar foods.

Meaty Calzones seem to fit that bill. Made of seasoned ground beef and mozzarella cheese wrapped in individual pizza-dough packets, they're sort of a taco in a pocket, or a meat-za with a top.

I serve them with a mild marinara sauce for dipping, as well as a tossed salad, vegetables and dip or green vegetable - I love asparagus. (It's easy to roast while the calzones are cooling: toss trimmed asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the same 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.)

Meaty Calzones
Serves 4

1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon cornmeal
1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup marinara sauce for dipping

Brown the ground beef in a skillet. Drain all the fat and season the meat with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the paper with nonstick spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Unroll the pizza dough on the sheet and cut into 4 rectangles. Stretch each rectangle to about 6x5 inches. Place 1/4 of the meat in the center of each rectangle. Top with cheese.

Bring the long ends of the dough up toward the center and pinch together. Fold the ends in slightly toward the center to seal. Flip the calzone over so all the folds are on the bottom. Repeat for remaining 3 calzones. Prick the top of each with a fork and spray with nonstick spray.

Bake for 11 - 15 minutes, until dough is light golden brown. Let sit 5 minutes before serving with your favorite marinara sauce.

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