Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An Easier to Follow Calzone Recipe

I don't know what got into me when I put together that last recipe.  But if you found it a little hard to follow... here's the sane version:

Pumpkin-Ground Beef Calzones


Large Bowl
Cutting Board
Sauté Pan
Square baking pan
Counter Space - for dealing with dough
Small Bowl
Cookie Sheet (or Pizza Stone if yer fancy)
Measuring spoons - if you don't feel good guessing spice amounts.


Calzones -
Pizza dough (make or buy)
Small "pie" pumpkin - the kind for eaten' not for looking' at.
1 lb ground beef (I'm betting lamb, pork or a combo are all good too - even turkey)
1 med. onion - purple if you can
Chili Powder (start w/ 2 tsp)
Smoked Paprika (start w/ 1 tsp)
Garlic Powder (start w/ 1 tsp)
Salt & Pepper (start w/ 1/4 tsp each)

Dipping Sauce -
Really ripe tomatoes
the spices you used in the calzones
- or -
Super basic tomato/marinara sauce with some chipotle salsa stirred in
-or - some variation to make a smoky, spicy tomato based dipping sauce.

Greens on the Side -
Dark green greens (whatcha' got - just know 1 lb = 1 Cup cooked)
A few cloves of garlic
2 tsp bacon fat or oil
Salt & Pepper
1/4 - 1/2 C water or stock
Splash of vinegar

Preheat oven to 375˚F.
With the large knife, cut the pumpkin in half, and scoop out all the insides.  (See previous recipe for info on proper transformation of the pumpkin guts)
Place the pumpkin halves open side down in your baking pan with a small puddle of water (no higher than 1/4 in. (1/2 cm)).  Bake for 30 min, or until the flesh is fork tender, and the edges are browning a bit.  When this is done, set it aside to cool.
(This can also be done ahead, and refrigerated at this point for tomorrow)

Slice you onion into pieces thinner than your pinky.
Get all your spices out.
Wash and roughly chop your dark greens (Spinach, chard, beet greens, kale...)
Slice your garlic as thin as you possibly can, or mince it fine.
When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh off the pumpkin's skin, and mash it up roughly - so it is broken up.  (Don't worry if the flesh is a little under cooked, you will be cooking it the rest of the way as you continue.)


Heat a saute pan, cook down a sliced onion (purple if you got 'em) and some sage in a little bacon fat (or oil) over med-low heat, until the onions are soft.  Brown the pound of ground beef.
Stir in the spices - in the starting amounts.  THen taste and add more of what you think it needs.  Mine needed more garlic, smoked paprika and salt.
Then stir in the pumpkin pulp you scooped off the skin after it cooled enough to handle.
Mash it up and stir it into the seasoned ground beef and purple onions.  Taste and adjust the seasonings until it makes you want to eat it all up right there.  Restrain Yourself.  
(Fillilng can be cooled and frozen at this point - so make double, and save some for later)

Get a clean expanse of counter very floury.  Divide up the dough into 6 pieces.  Make them into small circles.  Put A few tablespoons of the pumpkin-beef filling into the center.  Fold the circle onto itself, seal the edge by pressing down emphatically.  Fork tines help.  Repeat with other dough circles.

When your calzones are all closed up, poke them a few times to let air escape.  Place on a cookie sheet (or appropriate alternative) in the 375˚F oven for about 30 min., or until dough is in a GBD state (Golden Brown & Delicious).

The dipping sauce is only a matter of mixing the ingredients together to get a smoky, tomatoey dipping sauce.

For the greens, while the calzones are baking, start the sliced garlic in the bacon grease over med low heat - to slowly melt it.  When it gets floppy and mild, turn up the heat, add the greens to wilt them.  Add the liquid, and cover while the greens simmer until they are tender.  Take the top off, reduce the liquid, add salt pepper and a splash of vinegar to make them extra tasty.

Serve everything... and as the phoneticists say - "WA LAA!"

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