Monday, April 26, 2010

Holy Stromboli!

Sunday meals are a thing of decadence and gluttony in my family, and this didn't change once I built my own little nest. There's none of that popcorn for dinner or eat-whatever's-around mess. It's a big to do - even if you go out for a meal on a Sunday, it has to measure up. Yesterday we celebrated our anniversary, yet again, with food. I picked up some great looking pepperoni and whole wheat pizza dough at Trader Joe's (more to come on that tip later) and already had the rest of the set-up. Here's what you'll need for making two strombolis the size of your arm, or four reasonably-sized portions.

Pizza Dough*
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 pkg pepperoni, about a cup
2-3 Italian sausage links, cooked and cut into coins
1/2 C fresh baby spinach
2 cloves minced garlic
olive oil
red pepper flakes

*Trader Joe's pizza dough is a hell of a deal for 99 cents per bag, and it freezes well, too.

Preheat the oven to 350 and get all of your fillings ready to go before you start with the dough. Also, make sure you let the dough sit at room temp for about 20 minutes first. This makes it a lot easier to work with.
Once it's closer to room temp, flour either a cutting board or a clean counter top very well. Stretch the dough first with your hands by using a method I call the steering wheel, where you work the dough with both hands on a circular motion like you're making a sharp turn. You don't have to literally stretch it, it will just start to stretch itself. Once you have it thinned out a bit, use a floured rolling pin and roll it out on the cutting board to get it as thin as you'd like. Once you're there, cut it into as many rectangles as you'll need for the size you're making.

I found it's best to start with smaller ingredients, then go bigger towards the top. So, first put down a little olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic, then pile on the spinach, pepperoni, Italian sausage and cheese - all close to one side. Take the blank side of dough and fold it over the stuffing, making a seam on the other side. If you're not convinced it won't fall apart, press the edges with a fork like you would a turnover or pocket pie to seal it. Cut a 1" slit in the top of the dough about every 2" so it doesn't essplode in the oven. Brush the top with a little olive oil (or egg wash, if you're going more for looks than flavor) and season it with some garlic powder and rosemary. If you've got cornmeal on hand, you can also dust the bottom of the stromboli with that to add texture - a lot of pizza joints do that.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the crust doesn't give when you tap it. I felt it was missing something, so I made some herbed garlic butter to drizzle over the tops before serving.
Needless to say, this was the kind of meal that reassured Mr. FvF that he's marrying up.

My stromboli wants to show you his "O" face.


Lauren said...

Very nice! I love the pre-made dough at Trader Joe's! It's so good, I am thrilled to not have to make my own dough anymore!

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