The last recipe I had chosen from the Pioneer Woman Cookbook to include in March’s cookbook review was these Cowboy Calzones. Eric and I love pizza, calzones, pepperoni rolls; and do ‘pizza night’ a couple of times a month so this ‘cowboy version’ of our favorite was a must to try.
These of course turned out awesome and were super filling. They may seem like a lot of work because you are making the pizza dough from scratch but it really is not that much ‘extra’ work just some planning. The pizza dough can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated and if you want to make and us the dough the same day, the dough only requires 1 to 2 hours to rise (so you can do like I did and make the dough and then go running that way you don’t feel guilty about eating a few of these bad boys). Then after the dough is made and ready to go these Cowboy Calzones come together quite quickly and are not much work at all!
Notes: The original recipe called for breakfast sausage and I used Italian instead. Also I added some Italian seasoning and changed up the measurements some on the amounts of cheese, tomatoes, etc (when it comes to cheese my philosophy is more is better!). I served these with my favorite tomato/spaghetti sauce and ranch dressing for dipping. Yum!
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 12-15 minutes Serves: 6-8
1/2 pound Italian sausage
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
one 10 oz. can tomatoes and chilies (Rotel)
15 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 egg, beaten
salt and black pepper
Olive oil for brushing
Pizza Dough (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 450. In a large skillet, combine the sausage and hamburger with the onion. Brown over medium heat. Drain excess grease. Pour in the tomatoes and chilies. Stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and egg. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Add the cooled meat mixture to the cheese mixture and stir gently to combine.
Divide the pizza dough into 8 equal size balls. With a rolling pin on a floured surface, roll each ball into a 6 inch circle. Place meat/cheese mixture in the middle of each circle. Fold half of the circle over the other half, gently pressing to slightly spread and flatten the filling inside. Press a fork along the edge to seal closed, then transfer the calzone to a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling brush the calzone with olive oil.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.
makes enough dough for 2 pizzas or 8 calzones
1 tsp. or 1/2 packet active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated.
In a separate bowl, gently stir the yeast/water mixture. Drizzle it into the flour/oil mixture; mix until the dough forms a ball. You can also mix by hand.
Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl. Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil.
Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
To prepare pizza, preheat oven to 500.
Divide the dough in half. Lightly drizzle olive oil on a pizza pan or rimmed baking sheet. Using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape, pressing the dough into the pan with your fingers. Lay the desired toppings over the dough and bake the pizza for 8 to 10 minutes, unti the edges of the crust are golden brown.
The other half of the dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 2 days before use, or frozen for up to 6 months.
both recipes adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes From An Accidental Country Girl