Tag Archive: lunch

Oct 02 2012

#SeriousSandwich: Sopressata and Genoa Salami Calzone

I have a serious problem. When others are getting changed into their jammies, settling down with a book in their beds, I find myself in the kitchen, putting together recipes better suited for the daylight hours. Is there an Anonymous group for that?

Emeril's Sopressata & Genoa Salami Calzones

I fully intended only to prepare the Semolina Pizza Dough from Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches. I knew I would be making the Sopressata and Genoa Salami Calzones later in the week as part of #SeriousSandwich and I figured a head start might help on hectic soccer practice days. But once I reached the end of the first rise, I talked myself into continuing to the second rise, and the next thing I knew, I was pulling homemade calzones out of the oven at 10PM. It sure beats other late night snacks I could have had!

Usually when I make pizza dough, I leave that task to the dough cycle on my bread machine. I have a beautiful KitchenAid mixer whose dough hook has rarely seen any action. What a shame. For the sake of authenticity, I pulled the cart over to the outlet and put my KitchenAid to work. I wanted to make this recipe as close to the original as possible.

Emeril's Sopressata & Genoa Salami Calzones

The recipe called for kneading on medium speed for about 10 minutes, but my mixer got pretty hot about halfway through that time. Then I remembered the warning on the top of the dough hook to use it at Speed 2. I turned the speed down and just let it go a bit longer than called for. No worries.

There isn’t a lot of hands-on time with this recipe. Mostly waiting for the yeast to do its job and raise the dough. When it’s time to assemble the calzones, you do have a little bit of chopping to do, but it’ll take no more than 10 minutes, 15 if you’re slow and have no knife skills (like me!). I used the time of the second rise to prepare my fillings and get the oven and pizza stone ready. From there, it was a piece of calzone. (Not cake, of course!)

Emeril's Sopressata & Genoa Salami CalzonesCover of Emeril's Kicked-Up SandwichesThe recipe states that it makes 4 calzones, and this is true. But they are 4 gigantic calzones which could be split between two large adults, turning it into a meal fit for 8. Or you’ll have some fantastic leftovers for work the next day. My coworkers were jealous when I was heating mine up, filling the office with that delightful aroma. Mmmm!

Sopressata and Genoa Salami Calzones are featured in Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches, as well as the recipe for the Semolina Pizza Dough. This latest cookbook from Emeril Lagasse will be released for sale on October 16th, or you can pre-order it here. If you’d like to take your chances at winning a copy of your own, don’t forget to check out my first post on #SeriousSandwich–the contest is open until 11:59PM TONIGHT.

The verdict? Fantastic meal! Plan ahead a little and you’ll have something restaurant quality from your own oven. Don’t be intimidated–you can do it!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Sopressata and Genoa Salami Calzone
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8
Sopressata and Genoa Salami Calzones
  • 1 recipe Semolina Pizza Dough (page 298)
  • 1 cup Quick Tomato Sauce for Calzones (recipe follows) or your favorite jarred pizza/pasta sauce
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 8 ounces mixed sopressata, hot sopressata, Genoa salami, and/or pepperoni, chopped
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, drained
  • 8 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Flour or cornmeal, for dusting the pizza peel
Quick Tomato Sauce for Calzones
  • 1¾ cups
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and pureed
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Place a pizza stone in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F. (Alternatively, place an upside-down rimmed baking sheet on the rack in your oven.)
  2. Halve one of the pieces of dough and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to form two 8-inch rounds. Spread ¼ cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom half of each round, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the basil and one-quarter of the cured meats evenly over each portion of sauce. Sprinkle one-quarter of the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and crushed red pepper over each portion of meat. Gently fold the top half of the dough over the filling, rolling and pressing the edges together with your fingertips to seal them, and crimping as you go along. Make 2 more calzones with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Depending on the size of your oven, you may be able to bake only 2 calzones at a time. Cut several small slits in the top of each calzone to allow air to escape while baking, and transfer the calzones to a pizza peel that has been lightly dusted with flour or cornmeal (to facilitate moving the dough). Tilt the pizza peel to slide the calzones onto the preheated baking stone. Bake for 16 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the dough is cooked through. Remove the calzones from the oven with the pizza peel or a spatula, and serve immediately or at room temperature.
Quick Tomato Sauce for Calzones
  1. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes, until soft. Add the tomatoes, thyme sprig, salt, and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the extra-virgin olive oil, discard the thyme sprig, and set aside until ready to use.

Disclosure: The views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine alone, based upon my personal experience. Morrow Cookbooks provided me with a Cookalong Kit including an advance copy of Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches. In addition, upon completion of the #SeriousSandwich cookalong, all participants will receive a small grocery reimbursement and a complete library of Emeril Cookbooks.

Sep 21 2011

Old Time Favorites: Beef Stew

There will always be certain meals that make fantastic leftovers. Given an extra night in the fridge, the flavors create this dimension absent upon first serving. Knowing you’ll have something even better than last night’s dinner for lunch today certainly helps break up the weariness of the workweek!

old time beef stew

Old Time Beef Stew is one of these meals. It is a blast from the past; the stew my mother made when I was a child. I’m pretty sure she found it in her copy of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook with the red checkered tablecloth cover, but the version in my edition varies dramatically. I don’t like the modernized recipe even half as much as the original, so I stubbornly stick with it to this day!

beef stew and beer

That’s not to say I haven’t tried to adjust this old favorite to accommodate new tastes. I’ve changed out components over the years, eliminating the 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, throwing in green beans in the last 15 minutes or so when I have them, adding extra potatoes, and even replacing all of the water with red wine. But the base remains the same, a tried and true remnant of childhood family dinners that will continue to grace my family’s table for years to come.

beef stew and bread

Old Time Beef Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A filling beef stew that improves with age. Leftovers are almost better than the first day!
Recipe type: Main Course
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 lbs beef stew meat, cut in 1½” cubes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 Tbsp red wine of your choice (I chose Cupcake Malbec this time)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves (I used fresh off the bay tree I have growing in my bathroom)
  • 1 Tbsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground, if possible
  • dash ground allspice
  • 5 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled, pared and quartered
  • ⅓ cup cold water
  • 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
  1. In a Dutch oven, thoroughly brown meat in 2 Tbsp hot olive oil, turning often.
  2. Add 2 cups hot water and next 9 ingredients. Cover; simmer for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.
  3. Add vegetables. Cover and cook for an additional 30-45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Remove bay leaves.
  5. Slowly blend 3 Tbsp flour into the ⅓ cup cold water. Stir this slowly into the hot stew mix. Cook until bubbly, then cook and stir for 3 minutes longer.
  6. Serve hot with fresh bread. Leftovers keep for 3 days refrigerated in an air-tight container. Stew can be frozen for up to 1 month.


Feb 10 2011

The Beef Bolognese That Almost Wasn’t

As you can probably tell, I love to bake. It’s my escape from life’s problems, my chance to create and share with the world. Cooking, on the other hand, doesn’t bring me quite as much joy. I get stuck there, not always sure how to proceed, and frustration ensues. It’s just not as intuitive to me as baking.

beef bolognese

Because of this, I’m not always well-prepared for cooking. Flour, sugar, eggs, baking soda, vanilla? Yup, they’re always well-supplied. My ingredients on hand are far more haphazard when it comes to the main dish. Especially since my kids, like locusts, ravenously rip through all the produce. It’s not a bad thing that they love fruits and veggies, but it’s hard to depend upon them when the kids chow down constantly. 10 lbs of apples in a week? Small time. 6 lbs of bananas? You bet. An entire bunch of celery in 2 days? Piece of cake. Just because I bought it doesn’t mean it’ll be there when I need it.

So earlier this week when I was planning on making the Wintery Beef Bolognese from Erik Eats‘s blog, I thought I was all set to proceed. I dutifully bought the ingredients needed on Friday and hadn’t really cooked anything in particular that would have used them up. This should have been a cakewalk.

beef bolognese

Instead, I opened the fridge Tuesday morning and found one limp, leafy little stalk of celery left in the bag. That’s it, folks. Gone. No matter, I would just pick some up on the way home from school Wednesday. Erik himself even tried to help, reminding me on Twitter early in the day of my celery errand. He meant well. But my mind is a sieve these days and as soon as I pulled into the driveway–and promptly got stuck on the ice in my parking spot–I realized I forgot to go to the store. Bugger!

beef bolognese

It’s funny how the internet is like a party that’s constantly going on. I got on Twitter to share my snafu and almost immediately, Erik responded. We may be separated by something like 10 states, but there he was, online at the same time. Then again this morning–after finally getting to the grocery store to pick up that celery, and walking out with $50 worth of other stuff in addition–when I wasn’t sure when to put the celery into the pot, there he was, just when I needed him. A girl could get used to this kind of assistance. :)

beef bolognese

In any case, despite the cosmos aligning against me, the bolognese sauce got made at last! And really, it isn’t that difficult–as long as you have the right supplies on hand. Next time, I’m planning my cooking for grocery day so the kids don’t eat my ingredients up on me before I get to them! As for the sauce, just make it. It’s that good. (And thanks, Erik!)

beef bolognese

Wintery Beef Bolognese

adapted from Erik Eats

  • 2 Tbsp Wildtree Herbs roasted garlic infused grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1-2 Tbsp Wildtree Herbs Rancher’s Steak Rub (or your own salted seasoning blend)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups all natural, low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • Parmesan or Peccorino Romano to taste as topping
  • 1 lb fettucini or other flat-noodle pasta, cooked al dente

In a large pan, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until the onion pieces are translucent, maybe 6 minutes or so. Add the garlic but be careful not to brown it or it will get bitter, so maybe 3 minutes or so. Add the ground beef and pork, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Add the seasoning and brown evenly. Cover and drain the fat from the pan. Return to heat and add the white wine, cooking until the liquid is evaporated. Add the chicken stock and tomato paste, cooking until it simmers. Remove from the stove.

Dump the sauce into a crock pot and cook on low for 5-8 hours. Serve over a flat noodle like fettucini, topped with some grated Parmesan or Peccorino Romano. (I actually topped mine with some freshly grated Raspberry Bellavitano and it was delicious!)

Jan 18 2011

Comfort Food – Baked Mac and Cheese

There are days when all you want to do is hang out in your sweatpants, unkempt and unmade, snuggling under the covers while trying to repair the rents in your soul. There doesn’t necessarily have to be a cause–an identifiable reason–for this black hole to suck you in, leaving you flapping around helpless, unable to ward it off. These are the days that call for comfort food–something to feed your soul; buoying you, protecting you from the riptide of emptiness that looms on the horizon.

baked mac and cheese

Comfort food means different things to different people. For many, it implies favorites from childhood, reminding you of a safer time in your life–love and lunch, all wrapped up in a neat package.

baked mac and cheese

Baked macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods. I remember my mom making it infrequently, which made it all the more special. I learned the recipe from her and later discovered the mysterious source of her magical dish: the high school Foods class. In the same classroom, I ventured into familiar territory, comforted in the kitchen full of boys by the meal I already knew how to prepare.

baked mac and cheese

As I grew older, I tweaked that decades-old stand-by, trying to jazz it up and make it better somehow. Just about every time I make macaroni and cheese, it’s different ever-so-slightly–a constant work in progress. That’s one of the great things about it: even if you alter the original, it’s still mac and cheese, that warm and inviting reminder of home, love, and joy. You can’t go wrong.

baked mac and cheese

Baked Mac and Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8
  • 1 pound medium shells pasta
  • ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, divided
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 14 ounces various cheeses, shredded or chopped (I usually do a combination of Cheddars and either American, Gruyere, Parmesan, or even cream cheese)
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning blend
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large pot, cook pasta to al dente in salted water, according to box directions.
  3. At the same time, melt ¼ cup butter in a medium sauce pan. Once bubbly, stir in the flour.
  4. Once that has bubbled and thickened, add the milk. Stir occasionally until thickened.
  5. Add the cheese. Once nearly melted, remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Melt the other ¼ cup butter in the microwave. Add the Panko and Italian Seasoning, mixing well. Set aside.
  7. In a 3-quart casserole, combine the drained pasta and cheese sauce, mixing well. Sprinkle the buttered bread crumbs over the top.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack of the oven.
  9. Turn on the broiler for the last 2 minutes to brown the bread crumbs. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

 Come join Mac and Cheese Mania at Nutmeg Nanny and Rachel Cooks, sponsored by Door to Door Organics and OXO!

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