Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Playdate Special: Ham and Broccoli Calzones


You might think we're super moms. That we do it all. That we twirl happily through spotless homes, humming as we casually whip up a four-course meal while dispensing hugs to the little ones.

In reality, though, it's more often like this: Shortly before Anna was due at my door with kids in tow, I plunked my preschooler in front of "Handy Manny," swept up most of the cereal under the kitchen table, and cracked open the lid on the flour canister.


A half-cup of all-purpose flour. That left me ... about five and a half cups short.

I improvised pizza dough, tossing in a few cups of white whole wheat and bread flour. The result: Well, it would have made a lovely loaf.

But the stuffing! Ricotta, ham, broccoli, and mozzarella, yum. These folded-up pizza pockets are tasty, easy, and portable -- a great on-the-go meal, even for breakfast. Use your favorite pizza dough, be it made from scratch or refrigerated.

The kids ate them right up, scarcely noticing the tell-tale green bits indicating the presence of a vegetable.

Not only did I mess up the dough, I messed up the portions. I divided dough for one pizza round into four calzones, which resulted in mighty hefty calzones. Way too much dough. Dividing the dough into six portions will yield a much thinner crust, more evenly matched to the fillings inside.

Ham and Broccoli Calzones

You can prepare prepare these a day before baking. The assembled calzones can also be frozen until ready to bake.

1/2 cup ricotta
1/2 cup broccoli florets, chopped
2/3 cup ham, diced
1/3 cup mozzarella
salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
one pizza dough, homemade or prepared
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
tomato sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, broccoli, ham, mozzarella, and salt and pepper.
Divide pizza dough into 6 equal portions. Roll out each portion into a circle about 6 inches across. Place a half-cup of filling in the center, then fold over dough to create a half-circle. Press edges with your fingers or a fork to seal. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal; set calzones on sheet, leaving a few inches between them.
In a small bowl, whisk egg with water. Using a pastry brush, brush egg and water mixture over the calzones.
Bake until dough is lightly browned, 14-18 minutes.
Serve with tomato sauce for dipping.


Kurt Blumenau said...

Hey! An alternative to homemade pizza, which the kids love but the grown-ups get sick of after a while.
I'll have to try this with my homemade crust.

Cindy Rowland said...

That photo up top is really lovely. And so is the tomato one. Talk about eating with your eyes!

A Friend said...

Calzones look delish. I'll give them a try this weekend. Thanks for the great recipe : ) Dina Milito


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