Bacon, Spinach, Mozzarella and Gouda Cheese Calzones – in 29 Minutes or Less!

13 09 2011

For y’all that know my Smiles blog, you know that I rarely cook the dish and post same-day.

Call it procrastination (which could – dang it – be accurate in certain circumstances)…

Call it “allowing the recipe to soak in…” (that sounds better to me)…

Call it “overwhelmed by daily life and my real job (real estate)…” (definitely happened before)…

Call it the “lake calling my name…” (well, gosh-durn-it, you know that’s happened before)…

Well, whatever the case, I’m cooking and posting same-day in this instance.

Wanna know why?

Because it was so dang easy and faaaaast!

Makes 6 “mini” calzones.

* 1 canister pre-made pizza dough (refrigerated biscuit aisle)

* 1 package regular spinach, thawed and hand-squeezed to drain excess water

* 8-10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

* 1  1/2 cups mozzarella, grated

* 1 cup Gouda cheese (smoked or plain), cut into 1-inch cubes

* 1 generous Tbsp imitation butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a rolling pin, roll out pizza dough (spread it enough, but not too thin where it punctures easily).  Cut into sixths.

Combine the drained spinach, bacon pieces and cheeses.  Mix thoroughly (I had to do this with my hands for the best results).

Place one of the pieces of pizza dough on your cutting board.  Drop a generous dollop (about 1/2 cup or so) of the spinach-bacon mixture in the center of the piece.  Fold the bottom of the dough up and over the filling, securing the dough to the other side and rolling the dough up and towards you to seal the edges.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Place the calzones in a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Cut 2 small knife holes in each calzone (lets them breathe while baking).  Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.  Brush the butter on top of the calzones and bake another 5 minutes or until golden.

Serve with warmed marinara and/or Ranch for dipping sauce.





Weeknight Vegetable Lo Mein

7 09 2011

We’re all just lookin’ for a tasty weeknight dinner…

Amid the chaos, the schedules, the double-booked soccer games, juggled work schedules… You name it, and it can seriously hamper any kind of desire to cook on a weeknight.

Unless the recipe is quick and easy…

I loved the tastefulness of this recipe, and felt it was easy to put together.  In a pinch, you could prep the veggies the night before to make it a lot easier on yourself the day you make the lo mein.  Feel free to add thinly-sliced flank steak into the mix if you’re looking for a little protein.  Chicken would work great too.

Recipe adapted from “The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook,” Third Edition, pg 246.

Serves 4.

Make sure to use fresh Chinese egg noodles (usually found in the produce section of your local grocer).

* Salt

* 12 oz fresh Chinese egg noodles

* 1 Tbsp Asian sesame oil

* 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

* 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

* 3 Tbsp oyster sauce (often found in the Asian food section of your local grocer)

* 2 Tbsp veggie oil

* 10 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/4-inch thick

* 1 small head Napa cabbage, sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick

* 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced thin

* 6 scallions, sliced thin

* 1 Tbsp freshly-grated ginger

* 3 garlic cloves, minced

* 2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil.  Add 1 Tbsp salt and noodles.  Cook, stirring often, until the noodles are slightly underdone, about 2 minutes.  Drain the noodles, rinse under cold running water and drain again.

Transfer the noodles to a large bowl.  Toss with sesame oil.  In a separate small bowl, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, and oyster sauce.  Set aside.

Heat veggie oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add the mushrooms and cook until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the cabbage and bell pepper.  Cook until the cabbage is just wilted, about 2 minutes.  Add the scallions, ginger and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the noodles, soy sauce mixture, and cilantro to the pan.  Stir to combine and cook until the noodles are heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve immediately with a side of egg rolls.








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