Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vegetarian Calzone

Peeptastic Contest- If you did not see my 'Farro' post and the legion of peeps then go now, and do not forget to vote for the 'Peep' of your choice (hopefully me) here at Savor The Thyme...

I live in 'The Garden State' of Italy! When we moved here we stayed away from Italian eatery's just like back home, and there are plenty believe you me. Some friends a few years back were going to eat at a local place they had been raving about. I begged hubby to go even though I knew he was not gung ho on the idea. We tried it, and oh my goodness...Texas never had Italian food this good. The Veal Piccata melts in your mouth. Italian food is one thing I almost never make at home, and there is no need to now other than the 'Pie' I make once a month!

Instead of my usual vegetarian 'Pie', I decided to try making calzone. I had some vegetables left over in the fridge, and pulled out a few Italian books I have on hand like the gigantic Culinaria Italy series.

Take portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes in herb oil, green onions, garlic, basil, and place them it into the center of square you cut from the dough. Fold it over like a triangle, turning corners in towards center, press edges down firmly with a fork, and try not to pierce the dough. During baking the center melds together and some liquid does seep out. Normally you would baste them with an egg wash, but I chose to bake and then top with a mixture of three cheeses: Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano that I keep in the freezer for such occasions.

Heat up some sauce (they say 'gravy' here in NJ) with red pepper flakes (if you like 'heat'), and steam something green to serve as a side. This turned out to be the perfect meal for hubby who came home late from work, because it can be eaten at room temperature if needed. Hubby commented that was a first in our house and he liked it.

CULINARIA ITALIA HISTORY/COOKBOOK: Calzone is a focaccia with a meat and cheese filling, from the Puglia region. The filling is why it gets the name. Stuffed with traditional Italian products like cured meats, cheese(usually mozzarella) or vegetables, depending on the region you find it.

Pizza, calzone and focaccia are the genuine symbols of the Italian art of baking, and can be found all over the peninsula with a myriad mouthwatering and tempting variants that differ. No sauce was traditionally added to the inside; if it is served at all usually as a side for dipping. Normally it is also eaten as a mid-day snack, and with wine.

Mine definitely puffed up like a baggy trouser leg (a casual dinner trouser I might add)...

Go check out 'The Mushroom Lady' blog I found while blog cruising. She has history and some very interesting reads on the subject of mushrooms.

Gluten-Free Dough

1 tablespoon - Gluten-free dry yeast
2/3 cup - Brown rice flour or bean flour
1/2 cup - Tapioca flour
2 tablespoons - Dry milk powder or non-dairy milk powder*
2 teaspoons - Xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon - Salt
1 teaspoon - Unflavored gelatin powder
1 teaspoon - Italian herb seasoning
2/3 cup - Warm water (105 degrees F)
1/2 teaspoon - Sugar or 1/4 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon - Olive oil
1 teaspoon - Cider vinegar
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In medium bowl using regular beaters (not dough hooks), blend the yeast, flours, dry milk powder, xanthan gum, salt, gelatin powder, and Italian herb seasoning on low speed. Add warm water, sugar (or honey), olive oil, and vinegar. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. (If the mixer bounces around the bowl, the dough is too stiff. Add water if necessary, one tablespoon at a time, until dough does not resist beaters.) The dough will resemble soft bread dough. (You may also mix in bread machine on dough setting.) Recipe provided by... The Gluten-Free Gourmet by Bette Hagman