Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tomato, Basil, Cheese Calzone

I love calzones. I have a soft corner for Pizza and Calzone. Actually, both were part of a personal project that I was doing. That explains the extra love. I have been making calzones for months now. Though I never got a chance to post them.

It is very difficult for me to list out something that I don't like to eat. Once, I and my sister were discussing about what we like and what we don't. I could not list even a single food item that I don't like. Ah wait! There was one, dry cabbage curry. My sister said that she will cook it for me and she was sure that I would like it too. She is always so confident about these things. She knows I love the Indian curries and dry vegetables that she prepares. She is an amazing cook, much better than I am. She has more experience too. I love watching her when she is cooking. And when I do, I always learn a thing or two.

I make pizza quite frequently and most of the times the dough turns out to be a little extra than required. I keep it in the fridge for later use and make calzones with it. The first calzone I made, was a mushroom and onion calzone. It turned out to be amazing and I became crazy. I made all kinds of calzones thereafter. The one over which everyone drools is the chocolate calzone. I will post that soon. It is not a complex/detailed recipe but I like to create some curiosity. Chocolate calzone takes you to another world. You feel like you are flying with open wings in the clear blue sky. Summer breeze starts blowing all around and nothing seems to be better. Believe me or sue me. ;) Just Joking.

I made pizza pie and pizzas on Thursday and there was some extra dough which I kept in the fridge. I went to Ooty with friends for the weekend. Ooty is a good place. It was sunny throughout and it was less greener. But the air was cold so the temperature was not that high. It was an amazing drive. There were a lot of memorable moments and walks. Aaah! I will never forget those. When I am up at a height, I am myself. Heights give me a high that nothing else gives (Assume we are not talking about food). Not a lot of people know that about me. But I have written poems on being at a height and enjoying the walk up to the summit.
Here is one for you: Heights

Ooty is known for homemade chocolates. We bought a lot of them. We went to Coonoor also. Coonoor is another hill station not far off from Ooty. It is known for its cheese farm. We could not go to the cheese farm and neither were we able to contact them. So, we searched for some homemade cheese in Ooty itself. We found a shop which sold local cheese. I and my friend bought a lot of cheese. The one I use in the recipe is a roasted garlic and paprika cheese. It is kind of like feta but even softer. We also bought aged cheddar, montasio style cheese, pepper honey and lemon & ginger marmalade. Shopping for food is always fun. I do it alone almost always. But this time when we entered the shop he was the one who suggested to roam around and buy a few things. I was surprised and so damn happy. It happens very rarely that I get company to roam around a food store with someone whilst the other person is also enjoying the process and is actively participating. The feeling was amazing. Our friends were busy buying clothes so we took enough advantage of the time.

So now you can imagine that I had a nice weekend and have good memories. Travel and trips bring people closer. They also expose you to certain traits of people that you have been ignoring. But you realize that there are certain things which can't be ignored. Maybe they are an important part of his/her being and not yours. Well, I can keep talking about travel, trips, mountains, heights, sky, people etc. but there is a lot more that I want to share with you.  Enjoy this tomato, basil, cheese calzone.

Let me pour out the recipe.

Tomato, basil, cheese Calzone
Makes 1

Take the dough recipe from here: Vegetable Pizza with Homemade Dough

1. 1 tbsp olive oil
2. 2 plum tomatoes - cut in chunks
3. 1 green chilly - chopped finely (can avoid)
4. 5-6 fresh basil leaves
5. Soft cheese - Use as per your taste (I used a soft cheese. I used about 7-8 small cubes of cheese)
6. Freshly ground black pepper - as per taste
7. salt to taste
8. oregano to taste

1. Heat up the olive oil in a pan. Add basil to the oil when it is hot.
2. Add tomatoes and green chilly to the pan after a few seconds.
3. Saute the tomatoes on high heat for about 2 minutes.
4. Season with salt, black pepper and oregano.
5. Roll out a ball of pizza dough. Keep it thin.
6. Spread the tomato on one half of the rolled out dough.
7. Add cheese on the top of the tomatoes.
8. Apply water on the edges of this half using your fingers. This will help in binding the edges closely.
9. Close the other half of the rolled out dough over the tomatoes and cheese.
10. Bind the edges of the dough using you finger and water. Hold one end of the edges (both the layers) and give them a twist towards the inside. Keep going like this till you reach the other end. Use water if dough is sticking to your hand.
11. Take aluminium foil and sprinkle some flour on it.
12. Keep the calzone on the foil.
13. Brush the calzone with water or egg white. The top of the calzone will cook slowly now and will be crispier. The color will also be brighter.
14. Pre heat the oven at 200 degree celsius. Place the calzone in the baking tray of the pre heated oven.
15. Let it cook for about 10-12 minutes or till the point it browns up.

Serve hot.

The calzone was delicious. The crust was light and crunchy and the inside was flavorful. Really, tomato, cheese and basil is an amazing combination. I highly recommend you to make this.

If the tomatoes are very juicy, some of the juices may run out. If possible, cook the tomatoes in the oven for sometime. That would take some of the moisture out. Bind the edges of the calzone tightly. I had a loose connection somewhere and the tomato juices came out. It turned out fine in the end though. So what are you waiting for? Go, go go!

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