Broccoli calzoni – 15 December 2017

When I went to the Bowl… was it last week? … I bought some broccoli with long stems, thinking to use the stems in this dish, while having the florets for our veggies a couple of times. I left some florets on the stems in case there was not enough there, and indeed I used most of them, also. I peeled the stems and cut them into a small dice, and steamed 3 minutes (w/ D kindly pulling out the steamer when the timer went off, so I could continue with the dishes). This is usually an easy dish, b/c all you have to do is defrost a frozen dough and some frozen tomato sauce – but, none! I had to make both the dough and the sauce, which made for a rather crowded day, especially along with laundry ‘n’ stuff. I made a new batch of dough (about 1/3 white whole wheat, 1/3 unbleached white, almost all King Arthur, but the new batch of Costco flour crept in at the end) froze two pizzas worth after the first rise, and divided the third into two balls, worked them a small bit, and replaced them in the warm rising bowl, re-oiling them from the remaining olive oil. These had only a half hour or so to rise, but they perked up nicely. For calzoni I roll the dough rather than stretching it, so I rolled these out to perhaps 9″(?) circles. I followed the recipe I used when visiting brother B, who really enjoys this dish. Grated 4.5 oz (shooting for 4) part-skim mozzarella, 2.x oz (shooting for 2) parmaggiano (both also from our most recent Costco trip) and mixed in the broccoli (pretty well dried due to sitting in the strainer for at least a half hour) and 1 Tbsp dried dill. I salted the broccoli just before adding, but probably not enough. Hard to guess, and I really should measure sometime. Anyway, overall I thought the dish lacked flavor, but D said it was fine.

The tomato sauce recipe, adapted from 32 Zesty Pizzas, and scaled up for three (but this will be 5 instead) pizzas: mince >6 cloves of garlic. I used six or seven monsters, cut each into 6 or so chunks, and cuised in our small Cuisinart to mince. Godsend! Also used our nifty garlic peeler to peel the cloves first, and wow, is that ever worth using. Open the cans first: 28 oz tomato puree and 6 oz tomato paste. Then cook the garlic in 1 Tbsp olive oil over low heat till soft but not brown. Since “soft but not brown” can be delicate to nail, you are ready with the tomato puree to cut the heat quickly. Then add the paste, plus 2 Tbsp dried basil and 2 Tbsp dried oregano, ** tsp salt, and several grinds of black pepper, and cook… well, it says 15 minutes, but I let it go a lot longer. I ended up with 4 cups of sauce, and used 1 cup, plus 1/2 cup water to thin it, reheated for this dinner, and divided the other ~3 cups by eye into 4 aliquots, which should mean there is/are 3/4 cup in each of the containers. Froze them.

The calzoni baked the requisite time in our small oven: 25 minutes at 400. Good, but not exciting. I probably should have added in the rest of the broccoli (i used a scant 2 cups and was wondering if it would fit) and perhaps salted more.

We had the last, I think, of our tester wines from Costco – a 2015 (“150 years”) Mirassou Pinot Noir. This is from Modesto, says the bottle. Good, drinkable wine with no real negatives for $5.99. We might buy more of this but not compelled to do so. May as well have something cheap and pleasant around, really.

Later, we each had another of the Mini Frosted Peppermint Cookies that we got yesterday on a whim at Sur La Table in the Ferry Building. Very good cookies! They’d better be, at $1 each…

 

Lunch:

The o-konomi-yaki recipe suggests the pancakes can be eaten “cold on the beach,” so we suspected “cold at the table” would also work. D wanted to try a dipping sauce, and found one in our Vietnamese cookbook, with ginger and two dried red peppers in it, among other things. Lime juice. Had no fresh ginger (it always dries out on us so we don’t just keep it on hand) so he used [a rather random amount of] powdered, at my suggestion. Didn’t taste very gingery, but worth trying with proper ingredients. The pancakes look pretty cool with the purple cabbage in them! I think I used too much sauce on my o-konomi-yaki b/c I couldn’t taste the pancakes, and thought they were better without the sauce. There are more of them, so will try using less sauce next time.

 

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