Calzone

So this is my first time making this dish.  With my latest obsession of making my own dough (I still need a separate post about that) I thought this would be something good to try…this is another one of those dishes you don’t really need to plan ahead – just grab whatever you have in your fridge and get started!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dough
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Assorted Meats (I used some Spicy Salami and Pepperoni)
  • Cheese (any kind you have on hand – I used Cheddar)
  • Mixed Veggies
  • Meat Sauce for dipping (I saved some of my lasagna sauce from the other night for this)

Directions:

  1. Dice your veggies you want to put in your Calzone – I used Red Onions, Mushrooms, Green Pepper, Jalapeno Pepper, and Tomato
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 450 F with a baking stone in it, and a broiler pan underneath
  3. Measure out 1 lb of dough, and flour your counter top 
  4. Split the dough into two balls, and roll out like you’re making pizza
  5. On half of the Calzone, put on some pizza sauce, and cover with your meat, veggies, and cheese 
  6. Using a Pastry Brush, moisten the outer edge of the dough with water
  7. Fold over the Calzone, and use your fingers to seal.  Slice a couple of holes thru the top with a serrated knife
  8. Liberally throw on some cornmeal on your baking stone, place the Calzone on the baking stone, and put a cup of water in the broiler pan and quickly close the door.  Cook for 25 minutes
  9. Warm your marinara sauce, and enjoy!

Beer Can Chicken

My Roast Chicken obsession continues…this time, it’s my all-time favorite…Beer Can Chicken..  Mixing Beer + BBQ…what could be better?

This recipe doesn’t need any special equipment, although I use some below…see changes you could do here:

  • Instead of a smoker box, wrap the wood chips in aluminum foil
  • Instead of my beer can contraption, just put the chicken directly on the can!

    The extended base is for veggies – but you can use any BBQ safe stir fry pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 Whole Frying Chicken (4 – 5 lbs)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Spices for Chicken (Salt + Pepper, Chicken Dry Rub)
  • Wood Chips
  • Vegetables for Grilling (whatever you have on hand)
  • 4 Potatoes
  • 1 can Beer (a darker beer works better)

Directions:

  1. Soak your wood chips for about 30 minutes in cold water 
  2. Turn the BBQ on and warm to about 400 F
  3. Wash your chicken, and remove the giblets
  4. Pat the Chicken down with a little vegetable oil, and rub your dry rub spices all over the chicken liberally (put some on the inside too!) 
  5. Pour about 200 ml of that beer into an ice cold mug…ignore the temptation to drink it immediately (I put 150 ml of my beer into my contraption instead)
  6. Place the beer can into the butt of the Chicken 
  7. Place your chips into a smoker box, and place directly over the fire
  8. Place on the bbq over an indirect heat for roughly an hour,  until the temperature of the meat hits 180 F.  Place the potatoes on at the same time.  Half-way thru cooking the chicken, add the veggies
  9. Rest for 10 minutes before carving, and enjoy!

I have to admit…it smelled so good I forgot to take a picture when it came out, so here’s some of the left-overs on a clean plate…sorry 😦 

Mom’s Lasagna

2-for-1 night

Believe it or not, this is the first recipe I ever wrote down.  I think I was 10 years old at the time.  Why I wrote it, I have no idea…where we got it from, I also have no idea.  I just know my Mom borrowed a recipe from someone, and I loved it so much I wrote it down so we’d have a copy.  Even today, that original copy is still in my recipe book…I just can’t bring myself to throw it out.  The only change I’ve made from the original recipe is that I added some Spinach into the middle layer of the Lasagna.

One other thing I do whenever I make it now…I always make double and put the second one in the freezer.  The recipe listed below is for a single lasagna though.

Ingredients:

  • 2.75 cups shredded Mozzarella
  • 2 cups Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 jar Marinara Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 8-10 Lasagna Noodles (I always buy the no boil ones – saves time)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 lb Ground Beef or Italian Sausage
  • Handful of chopped Mushrooms
  • 1 handful chopped Spinach
  • 1 clove Garlic (chopped)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 F
  2. Combine the Ricotta Cheese, 2 cups of Mozza Cheese, Egg, and Salt in a bowl.  Save the 0.75 cup of Mozza for the top of the Lasagna
  3. Saute the Garlic for a minute, and then add the mushrooms for 3-5 minutes until nicely browned.  At that point, add the meat and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until no longer pink.
  4. Pour a bit of the sauce over the bottom of the lasagna pan, and then pour the rest of the bottle into the meat mixture with the oregano and let it simmer on low heat
  5. Put 4 or 5 noodles in the lasagna pan (depends how big your pan is).  Add half of the cheese mixture and spread throughout the pan, and then add half of the meat mixture and spread as well.  Add all of the Spinach.
  6. Repeat step 5, except instead of topping with Spinach, top with the rest of the Mozza
  7. Pour the water along the edges of the lasagna and cover with foil
  8. Bake for 60 minutes, uncovering for the last 10 minutes.  Let the lasagna sit for 20 minutes to set before cutting

 

Banana Bread

This has to be my all-time favorite sweet when I’m having my morning coffee…it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare the loaf to put in the oven, and an hour later you have the perfect morning snack…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 cup softened Butter
  • 3/4 cup Brown Suger
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 3 ripe Bananas (mashed)
  • Handful of Chocolate Chips
  • Handful of Walnut pieces

Directions:

  1. Turn the oven to 350 F and grease a bread pan
  2. In a small bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, bananas, chocolate chips, and walnut pieces
  4. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt
  5. Pour the contents of the small bowl into the medium bowl and mix well
  6. Pour the contents of the medium bowl into the large bowl, and mix well
  7. Pour the contents of the large bowl into your pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick thru the middle of the bread comes out dry

Jerk Chicken

The finished product

Went to the Grocery store the other day and picked up another whole frying chicken…considering I haven’t bought one in a couple of years prior to starting this blog, it’s kind of funny that the majority of my recipes are frying chicken related…guess it gives me an opportunity to try something new…since i cut up this chicken and put it on the grill, you could just as easily buy a pre-cut package of chicken and use this marinade/recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 1 Roast Chicken
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers (sliced)
  • 2 bunches of Green Onion (cut in half or thirds only…just to fit into your food processor)
  • 2 tbsp Allspice
  • 4 Limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Molasses

Directions:

  1. Cut up your chicken into pieces (or buy a pre-cut pack of chicken) and place in a large Tupperware container
  2. Place all the ingredients other than the chicken into a food processor and process until a nice thick paste forms.  When I filled mine up it was completely full and once pasted it went down to about a quarter of the container size
  3. Marinate the chicken and put in the fridge for an hour or so, and pull it out when you’re about to turn the grill on
  4. Put your grill on high (I waited until it was about 475 F before putting the chicken on)
  5. Put the chicken on the grill with the skin side first (be careful when cooking with the skin, as your food can flare up quickly and become blackened chicken!)  I also put the remainder of the marinade in a steel bowl and put on the grill.  Once it’s boiling it’s safe to use as a marinade as the raw chicken bacteria will be killed at this point…DO NOT use the marinade without boiling first)
  6. Leave it for approximately 10 minutes until a nice black char is on the bottom of the chicken (not burned!)…marinade the top sides then flip over and marinade the cooked side
  7. Turn the temperature down to medium (325 – 350 F) and cook another 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked (165 F for the breast, 180 F for the legs).  The wings will cook a lot faster so make sure you move them to the top rack so they don’t dry out

Serve with whatever you have on the side…I was too rushed to make anything else last night so just made some mac and cheese on the side.  Some mashed potatoes would’ve hit the spot with this, maybe next time…