Friday, June 26, 2009

Outdoor Concert Food

I made these Mini Spinach Calzones for an outdoor concert we will attend Sunday. I plan to serve them with Lindrusso's Magnificant Marinara and white wine.

I made the filling in the food processor. Although it made for a smooth filling, you cant taste the spinach as much. If doing it that way again, I would use less cream cheese. Also, a sharper cheese, chives - etc would be great here. I made a double batch (to freeze some) and put bacon in half.

I used whole wheat pizza dough from Eating Well. I rolled out the dough in to an approx 15 in circle/oval shape. I used a tape measure to approximate 3x3 inch shapes and scores with a pizza wheel. I used a small scoop for the spinach filling.

They werent very uniform, but Im going for flavor here :). I closed each and crimped with a fork then basted with an egg/water wash.

They baked for 13.5 minutes then cooled. Even though the event is Sunday, I needed to test! They taste great!!!

Recipes Below

Mini Spinach Calzones (Adapted from BH&G and Culinary in the Desert)

5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
salt and fresh ground black pepper
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
16 ounces prepared whole-wheat pizza dough
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon water
fresh grated Parmesan cheese, for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, stir together spinach, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, scallions, garlic and crushed red pepper - season with salt, fresh ground black pepper and nutmeg.

On a lightly floured surface, stretch dough into a 15" square. Divide the dough into 3" squares (you will end up with 25). Drop a slightly rounded teaspoon of the filling onto the center of each square.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg and water until well combined. Lightly brush edges of dough squares with the egg wash. Form triangles by lifting one corner of each square and stretch it over the filling to the opposite corner, sealing the edges with a fork.

Place triangles onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Use a fork to prick the tops of each calzone once. Brush the top of each triangle with the egg wash and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.

Set baking sheets into the oven and bake, rotating halfway though, until the calzones are golden, about 8 to 12 minuets. Remove and let cool slightly before serving.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (Adapted from Eating Well)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour (I used white wheat)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine flours, yeast, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Combine warm water and oil in a measuring cup. With the motor running, gradually pour in enough of the liquid until the mixture forms a sticky ball. The dough should be quite soft. If it seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of warm water; if too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Process until the dough forms a ball, then process for 1 minute to knead.

Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise about an hour, or until doubled in size. Punch down and let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before rolling.

*If you want to knead by hand feel free - knead for about 10 minutes. As made, this recipe makes about 1 pound of dough.

If you would like to make about 12 ounces of dough, here is the ingredient list to follow - the directions to prepare the dough is the same.

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water (may need slightly more)
2 teaspoons olive oil

Lindrusso's Marinara Magnifica (adapted from Alysha on CLBB)

I've been tinkering with marinara sauces over the last couple of
years. Below is the recipe I've come up with. It's a very basic sauce
because I like to keep it in the freezer and pull it out for various uses. I
then doctor it up for whatever I'm making by adding fresh herbs, crushed red
pepper, whatever. Caramelizing the onions helps to take away the harsh taste
onions can sometimes add to your sauce. Same with crushing/smashing the

1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs sugar
3-4 medium onions, chopped
1/2 cup cup dry red wine
6 cloves garlic, crushed with the blade of a knife
3 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (or 2
-- 28-ounce cans crushed and 2 14-ounce
-- cans diced if you want a bit more chunkiness)
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp marjoram
pinch of crushed red pepper or more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves

1. Heat oil in a Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add chopped onions and 1
tablespoon sugar. Saute onions for 30-45 minutes, or until sweet and
caramelized. As the pan dries while onions are cooking, add red wine as
needed. Once onions are done, continue to add the rest of the ingredients.
Stir until well-combined. Simmer over low heat for 4-6 hours (you can simmer
for less, but I would simmer for at least 1-2 hours). Stir often to keep the
sauce from burning or getting overcooked.

Note: It can be cooked in the crock pot, on high for the first hour then switched to low for the next 5 or so hours.


  1. Ah... I remember the days I used to take on projects like this. They are long gone now. Sounds tasty! I hope they were good.

    Welcome to the blogging world!