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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Balsamic Mushroom and Onion Calzone

There is just something so satisfying about breaking into a sauce-smoothered dough to have cheese and delicious ingredients spill out! I had some extra pizza dough on hand recently and I rummaged though my brain (and fridge!) to see what I could fill it with...the result was a super yummy calzone that had my family wishing I had more leftover dough :)

Serves 6
-1 lb pizza dough, split into 6 equal parts
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 large vidalia onion, sliced into strips
-1 lb fresh crimini mushrooms, sliced
-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
-2 tablespoons fresh tarragon or 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
-salt and pepper to taste
-2 cups shredded cheese (I recommend an Italian blend of mozzarella and parmesan)

-1 tablespoon olive oil
-4 large tomatoes
-3 cloves of garlic
-2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
-1/2 cup water
-salt and pepper to taste

To make
-Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
-Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray
-On a clean surface sprinkled with flour, roll out each mound of dough to about 8-10 inches x 4 inches
-Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook onions for about 5 minutes until halfway cooked. Add mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and continue cooking on medium heat about 5-10 more minutes, until the onions have caramelized and the vinegar has reduced to a glaze. Stir in the tarragon and remove from heat.
-Place about 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup onion and mushroom mixture on on side of dough. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese on top of onion mixture. Fold over the long end of the dough and crimp the edges closed. Repeat with remaining dough and mixture.
-Arrange calzones on baking sheet and bake for about 12-17 minutes, or until the top is golden and the dough seems cooked. Cooking time will vary depending on your dough.
-While the calzones are baking, prepare the sauce by heating oil in a sauce pan. Puree tomatoes and garlic and add to the heated oil. Add seasoning, water, salt and pepper and cook on medium heat until the sauce has thickened and reduced to desired consistency, about 10 minutes.
-Remove Calzones from oven and put onto individual serving plates. Spoon about 1/2 cup sauce on to each calzone and serve.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mexican Lasagna

When I first came up with this, I made it three times in one week. For the same people. Yes. It is that good! I played with it each time that week, but the first way was definitely the best. I can describe this lasagna on and how cool it is to make it with flour tortilla instead of lasagna noodles, or how delicious that top layer of tortilla is because it gets crispy and crunchy in the oven, or how refreshing the sour cream is when drizzled on top...or you can just make it and discover your own list of favorites!

Serves 6

-6 8 inch flour tortillas, cut in half
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 large onion, finely chopped
-1 bell pepper any color, finely chopped (or 1 cup frozen mixed bell pepper medley)
-1 whole chicken, cooked, meat removed from skin and bones then shredded (I buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it myself)
-4 cups salsa
-1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
-14 ounce can black beans
-1 cup corn
-1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
-1 tablespoon cumin seeds
-1 tablespoon dried coriander
-salt and pepper
-16 ounces sour cream
-3 cups shredded cheese
-1 cup diced green onions

To make
-Heat oil in a pot and add onions and bell peppers. Cook for 5 minutes. Mix in shredded chicken, 2 cups salsa, cilantro, black beans, corn, taco seasoning, cumin seeds, coriander salt and pepper.
-Spray a 9x13 baking dish with  non-stick spray.  Spread a thin layer of salsa and place 4 tortilla halves to create a layer of bread along the bottom. Spread 1 cup salsa on top of bread, then spread 1 cup sour cream.  It will look messy, but don't worry.  Add 1/2 of chicken mixture over sour cream. Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Repeat layers (tortilla, salsa, sour cream, chicken mixture, cheese) 1 more time and end with a layer of tortilla bread. Do not put salsa on top layer.
-Sprinkle cheese on top layer of tortilla and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top layer has browned.  Remove from oven and drizzle with sour cream then sprinkle with diced green onions.
-Slice and serve