Thursday, August 30, 2007

Last Night's Dinner #20: Calzone & Hueguenot Torte

Main: Sweet Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Calzone
Adapted from Not Martha
Difficulty: Medium - I had some trouble with the pizza dough
Prep time: 30 minutes (with camera work)
Cook time: Meat filling 8-10 minutes / Calzones 11-12 minutes

Dessert: Hueguenot Torte
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Difficulty: Easy
Prep time: 20 minutes (while on the phone with Zandra + camera work)
Cook time: 35-45 minutes

You can make your own pizza dough if you'd like but I just bought ready-made pizza dough from the supermarket. If you have a favorite pizza shop, I would ask if you could buy some from them. Just let them know you want to make 6 Calzones.

I've never worked with pizza dough before so I was semi surprised by its elasticity. Let's just say I won't be working at Vinno's Pizza anytime soon. The dough just didn't want to be rolled out into 9" circles. I even attempted to use my fist like the way they do it in the pizza shops but I just ended up tearing the dough. So be patient. If you roll it out a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, it sticks to it and helps it stretch out and maintain the shape. I also used flour to avoid it from sticking to the rolling pin. If you're like me, you'll get the hang of it by the 3rd one!

This isn't the prettiest thing I've ever made but it definitely was tasty. I had way too much left-over cheese filling and a bit of meat filling left. So I'll have to incorporate that with tonight's dinner!

You'll need:
Cheese mixture -
15 oz tub of whole milk Ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups (8oz) of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg yolk
1 tbs of chopped fresh oregano

Meat filling -
By the way, if you don't like broccoli rabe, you can always use spinach or leave it out altogether. Zandra, I know you hate veggies, so you can make a sausage and cheese only calzone instead.

4 Italian sausages (sweet or spicy), remove from casings
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
pinch of black pepper
1/4 tsp of salt or to taste
12 oz of broccoli rabe
1 tbs of cold water

You'll need to preheat the oven for 30 mins on 500F. Set the rack on the lowest possible position. Don't burn yourself...

Step 1. Prep by shredding/grating cheeses, mincing garlic, chopping fresh oregano, removing sausages from the casings and cutting the broccoli rabe if you don't have the pre-cut kind. You can prep this the night before or a couple of hours prior to cooking.

Step 2.
Combine all of the "cheese mixture" ingredients and set aside. Again, you can make this ahead of time just make sure you cover it up with cling wrap and store in the fridge. (Prep time for steps 1 and 2: 15 minutes)

Step 3.
Meat mixture. Heat up a skillet and add sausages (no need to add oil, there should be plenty of natural oil from the sausages). Break up into bite size pieces. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes once you see that the meat is almost cooked. Add the broccoli rabe. Don't worry if it looks like it's going to overflow. The broccoli rabe will soon wilt as it cooks. You can help speed the process by sprinkling in 1 tbs cold water. This will create steam and will help the cooking process.
Step 4. Remove from heat and place in a plate or a baking dish lined with 4 or 5 layers of paper towels - this will help remove most of the liquid from the mixture. It's important to allow this to cool off and drain as much liquid off of the mixture so that it doesn't make the dough soggy.
Step 5. In the meantime, roll out six approx 9" circles. They should be thin but not too thin that they rip. First cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and roll into balls, then roll out each one.
Step 6. It helps to roll out the dough in parchment paper. As you roll each one, stack one on top of the other with parchment paper in between each layer (the weight of each one helps keep the other one flat). Each piece should have its own piece of parchment paper.

Step 7.
Divide the cheese and meat filling by 6. Eye ball this and gauge whether or not you're putting too much or too little. Make sure to keep each piece on a piece of parchment paper. I put about 2 tbs of the cheese mixture and 2tbs of the meat mixture. Place the fillings in the center of the rolled out dough and drag one side to the other and twist edges shut. Trim the extra paper around each calzone.
Step 8. Brush the calzones with olive oil and sprinkle the tops with coarse salt.

Took me about 20 minutes to complete the rolling out and filling process.

Step 9. Cook for 12 minutes (or until nice and golden) on 500F on a baking sheet if you don't have a pizza stone. Once done, allow to cool off for 5 minutes before serving.

Hueguenot Torte
This is really an interesting dessert. I've never had anything quite like it. It has a very different texture but really really really good. I specially like the way it looks when you serve it. It just looks like a mess but a good type of mess. It just has a certain casualness to it. A great recipe for you and your kids to do together. Karen - once it cools, Miles can help you assemble the dessert. You basically attack the pan and pile pieces on top of each other and plop on whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top. You serve it in the center and everybody just digs in with a fork!

By the way, I made the dessert before the calzones.

You'll need:
1 1/2 cup of granny smith apples, cut into 1" pieces
1 cup of pecans, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbs of all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp of baking powder
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
one 17 1/4 x 11 1/2 baking pan
Non-stick spray
whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream (optional but DO IT)

Step 1:
Prep. Chop pecans, cut and core apples. Combine four, baking powder and salt - sift on a large piece of parchment paper. Spray your baking pan with non-stick spray. (Prep time: 10 minutes)
Step 2. With a hand mixer, beat eggs until pale and fluffy (~4 mins). Begin to slowly add the sugar.
Step 3: Continue mixing and slowly add the flour mixture, roll up the parchment paper in a tube/funnel and add mixture little by little so it doesn't blow all over you. Did that happen to moi?... maybe. Beat for another 30 seconds.
Step 4: Manually fold in the pecans, apples and vanilla extract.
Step 5: Pour into pan evenly. Steps 2 to 5 took another 10-15 minutes.
Step 6. Cook for approx 40-45 mins until golden. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.

Scoop out of pan and stack/layer pieces on a large plate. Serve topped with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream. Dig in!

No comments: