In the ‘zone

As you know, Mike and I do love our pizza, and he makes it at home often. He’s been working on refining the dough recipe for his pizza stone version, weighing the finished dough and pinching off 7 to 8 ounces of it so the crust fits our peel better, and that has left us with a freezer full of little dough balls. Since opening the freezer door has become a bit of a hazard lately, what with the frozen dough and other items crammed inside often shifting and plummeting south toward unsuspecting toes, I decided to take action: I’d thaw some of those balls of dough and turn them into calzones.

I took two nice bunches of farmers’ market greens (one kale and one mustard, but any type of greens would probably work well here), stemmed and chopped them, and cooked them down with a good amount of olive oil and smashed garlic. When they were nicely wilted down but still bright green, I removed them from the heat and let them cool. I tipped a container of Narragansett Creamery ricotta into a big bowl, then added some salt, freshly ground pepper, an egg yolk, and a bit of grated parm, then mixed it all to combine. When my greens were cool enough to handle, I ran my knife through them again to chop them really fine, then squeezed out the excess liquid and added them to the cheese mix, stirring until the greens were evenly distributed.

Dinner: October 4, 2010

I made a bit of a mess with the dough at first – it was a little wet and kept sticking to my parchment, so I had to incorporate a bit more flour into it (getting it all over the counter, the floor, and myself in the process), but I finally got a couple of rounds I could work with. I mounded a big scoop of the filling on half of each round, folded them over, crimped the edges, brushed them with a bit of beaten egg white, cut a few slashes in the tops to help them vent steam, then I placed them on the pizza stone in a preheated 450 degree oven for about half an hour.

a peek inside

I served them up with a rich, winey tomato sauce (which also ended up all over me as I cooked it – not my finest hour in the kitchen that night), and some lightly dressed Arcadian Fields Teenage Lettuce Mix. My calzones are a work in progress, but I think we got off to a great start.


Round Two

Dinner: May 4, 2010

The fried chicken sandwich project continues. The breading and bun were less successful than Round One, but the slaw was made of win. To be continued…

Playing With Food: Rye Berries

raw rye berries

As soon as I heard that Schartner Farms was going to have rye berries at our Wintertime Farmers’ Market, I began looking into ways to use them. My first thought was to substitute them for farro in things like warm grain salads, a preparation that has worked extremely well. But when I was trying to decide what to whip up for our dinner last night, I had another thought: as I’ve mentioned here before, I’d love to get a solid, tasty vegetarian chili recipe in my repertoire, and with portions of cooked beans and cooked rye berries already in the fridge, it seemed like a good thing to revisit.

rye berries

From a textural standpoint, the rye berries did everything I hoped they would in the chili (and the beans, of course, were fabulous). However, the finished dish was lacking the sort of meaty-without-meat flavor I was after. I think for the next go-round, I’ll return to my original idea of adding mushrooms into the mix to provide savoriness and yet another textural variation, but I’ll definitely keep the rye berries in. Look for my recipe soon.