Savor The Earth

eat tastier, eat greener, eat cheaper

Waffle Cones—Puddin’ Up with It January 31, 2010

Filed under: cookies/brownies,dessert,easy,fast,Uncategorized — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:46 pm

what a spread

wafer wafer

A surplus of milk—we don’t drink the stuff so our supply catches up with us sometimes—wound up as a large bowl of crème pâtissière.  Naturally I wanted to bake a batch of éclairs (anyone familiar with San Francisco’s Tartine bakery?  Legendary éclairs there.  They warrant a Muni detour—yes, every day!— and are definitely worth waiting in the line that wraps around the corner.  Try the frangipane croissant, too.   I might whoop up a pan of those when I retire.)

Life, that is, children, kept me from pâte à choux-ing (gesundheit!) this week.  But waffle cone iron cookies baked up crisp and quick, the simple batter requiring no leavener, no resting, and no precooking.  Spread your wafers with pastry cream, stacking them if you wish to construct a Napoleonic dessert.  If you don’t have a waffle cone iron (I bought mine at the thrift store, of course, but I think it’s the only one I’ve come across in resale shops), pizzelle irons (I do see these occasionally) and krumkake irons (haven’t found a used one yet) will produce perfectly acceptable wafers just as handily.

All this talk of waffle cones and irons reminds me of my friends at Traveling Bistro right here in Austin, Texas.  These folks crisp up imaginatively flavored hot waffles every Sunday for their weekly brunches.  Check ’em out!

WAFFLE CONES makes about 8 large wafers

  • 1 local egg
  • 1 local egg white
  • ¼ teaspoon salt.  I use Real Salt.
  • 100 grams (½ cup) organic sugar.  Central Market sells their own brand for $2.99 for a 2-pound bag.
  • flavoring:  ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and/or 1 teaspoon citrus zest
  • 40 grams organic white whole wheat flour.  Whole Foods offers King Arthur brand in the 5-pound bag for the best deal.
  • 40 grams (1/3 cup) organic all-purpose flour.  WF 365 brand is usually the least expensive.
  • 2 Tablespoons organic butter, melted and cooled.  I love Organic ValleyClick for a coupon.

Whisk together the eggs and salt.  Whisk in the sugar and flavoring until the eggs lighten in color and consistency.  An old-fashioned eggbeater shines here.  Whisk in the flours then stir in the butter.

Heat up your iron hot.  For adjustable irons, try the medium setting first.  You’ll have to play around (or read your instruction manual!) to determine the amount of batter required and best cooking time.  For my old Toastmaster model, a generous 2 Tablespoon scoop (a spring-loaded scooper helps) and a generous minute of baking produced wafers about 6½” across.

Let your cookies cool and crisp on a rack before spreading them with pastry cream (or preserves or creme de marrons or whatever you like).

A few words on crème pâtissière.  Here’s a basic formula:  1 cup milk, heated to hot, whisked into (combined) ½ cup sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 3 Tablespoons flour.  Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat until thickened and smooth, then temper in 2 egg yolks and continue to cook and whisk until the mixture boils.  Be sure to boil the pastry cream, as the yolks contain an enzyme that must be deactivated lest your eggs, defiantly deliquescent, reliquefy the cream later.  Pour the hot pudding (that’s what we have here!) into a wide bowl and stir in 2 Tablespoons butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.  Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if your tooth requires it.  Place a sheet of waxed paper directly onto the surface of the crème and cut a few small slits in the paper with a sharp knife.  Let cool and refrigerate right away.


Rutabaga Rice January 28, 2010

Filed under: Dai Due,Indian,meat,rice,sunset valley farmers market,vegetables — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 6:01 pm

luscious links

A recent purchase of Dai Due‘s bison and ginger sausage (Thunderheart Bison and local(!) ginger root) got me hankerin’ for Indian food (no, really?).  Armed with a rotund rutabaga, courtesy of Johnson’s Backyard Garden at Sunset Valley Farmers Market, I assembled a one-pot meal, spiced rice dish.  Carnivores dug in, lured by lengths of meat.

I don’t cook rutabaga much.  It tastes good and sweet and rooty-tooty, and I totally go for that kind of thing.  But big bad ‘bagas just don’t show up in our local markets with the same frequency as turnips, radishes and kohlrabi.  I offer a cooking suggestion anyways:   Cut it into small cubes (take care busting into it–rutabaga’s a tough tuber to crack), then simmer it in a little apple juice with a dab of mustard, a dash of garam masala, a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Finish the dish with your best butter (I recommend Lucky Layla from Texas or Organic Valley Pasture butter), fresh cilantro or parsley, and a squeeze of lemon juice.  I’d pepper it with lots of cracked black pepper, too, but not on the kids’ portions.

If you just can’t get enough rutabaga—I mean if you can get enough, to grace your table again, that is, try this Indian-inspired pilaf.

RUTABAGA RICE WITH SAUSAGE serves a family with possible leftovers, depending on your family size!

  • 2 cups Indian or Pakistani basmati rice, rinsed well, soaked in water for 10 minutes, then drained and rested in a sieve for another 10 minutes.  I buy 10-pound bags at Fiesta or MGM.
  • 1 pound local sausage.  Dai Due’s bison and ginger sausage, seductively succulent, blended well with the Indian-spiced flavors in this dish, but a local kielbasa would work, too.  I’d also consider it in a bun with sauerkraut and spicy mustard.  But that’s a different post.
  • 1  good-sized local rutabaga, about as big as a largish grapefruit, well peeled and cut into batons (about 1/3″ thick “short french fry” pieces)
  • 3 Tablespoons yogurt.  I make my own and it’s easy.  Click to see how.  I usually use Swede Farm Dairy‘s goat milk, available at SVFM.  Other local options include Wateroak Farms’ goat milk (SVFM) and now Way Back When’s cow’s milk available at SVFM and Austin Farmers Market.
  • 2 teaspoons minced or grated fresh ginger root—I use a Microplane.
  • 2 teaspoons minced hot green chile, if you have it and you wanna.  Otherwise use about ½ teaspoon paprika.
  • 2 Tablepsoons minced local cilantro—growin’ right now!
  • ¼ cup organic dessicated shredded coconut—I like Let’s Do…Organic brand, available at our local grocery stores like Central Market and Whole Foods.
  • 1 or 2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil.  Nutiva in the big ole jar or Whole Foods 365 are usually the best buys.
  • 9 whole cloves
  • about a 2½” piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 large bay leaf, preferably fresh.  Try growing your own!  Bay is hardy and easy to care for.  My specimen is proof.
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 ½ to 3 teaspoons salt.  I like Real Salt.  Whole Foods carries it in the bulk department.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar—I buy this in bulk at Central Market.
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice from a local and/or organic lemon.  I got a mind to puttin’ in a lemon tree soon.  Ask your neighbors.
  • 3 ¼ cups water
  • several very well peeled broccoli stems, diced small.  Yep.  I’m still going whole hog on broccoli.  Use it or lose it!
  • lemon wedges, if desired

Combine yogurt with the next four ingredients and mix in the rutabaga.  Let the mixture sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe.  Combine the whole spices (cloves through the cumin) in a small dish and combine the powdered seasonings (salt through the turbinado sugar) in another small dish.  Keep these spice stashes handy.

In a large saute pan or wide casserole pan (stovetop safe), brown the sausage links on all sides over medium-high heat.  Remove to a plate and set aside.  Add the coconut oil and whole spices to the pan and toast on medium-high heat until the cumin smells as browned and toasty as you like.  Dump in the rutabaga and stir and fry until the tuber has browned some.  Add the powdered spices, lemon juice and water, raise the heat to high, cover the pan with a lid (I prefer a see-through top) and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to LOW and cook for 10 minutes.  Quickly lift the lid and scatter the broccoli stems over the surface and place the sausages on top.  Replace the lid and continue cooking on LOW for another 10 minutes.  When finished, place the pan on a cooling rack or trivet and let sit for 10 minutes before carefully fluffing the rice.

Slice the sausages if you want to.  And squeeze some lemon juice over individual servings for a little zing.

  • 3 ¼ cups water


Frito Meringues January 25, 2010

Filed under: cookies/brownies,dessert,easy,leftovers — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 11:46 am

corny cookies

This title sounds like wordplay to my ears.  Can’t place that pun though.  Let me know if you get it.

Using up the last of the game night Central Market organic corn chips (had to arm our pantry with plenty of frito pie fixin’s), I took advantage of a cloudless, low humidity day to whoop up meringue cookies.  The salty and the sweet, all crunchy to boot.  And easy.

FRITO MERINGUES makes about 30 cookies

  • 3 egg whites (90 grams) from local eggs—not a trace of yolk (or any other fat) in here, please
  • 10 ½ ounces (1 ½ cups, packed) organic light brown sugar.  Central Market brand is usually the best buy.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or homemade vanilla rum
  • 1 6-ounce bag Central Market organic corn chips—This is the only organic brand I’ve found  (and I’ve searched for years!!)

Get to whoopin’ up your egg whites, preferably using a stand mixer.   Meanwhile, crush up the corn chips.  I spin ’em in the food processor.  When your egg whites are foaming up to nearly soft peaks, add the sugar and continue whipping until the meringue looms lofty and stiffly peaks.  Beat in the vanilla.  Fold in the crushed corn chips, in two batches if you wish, and scoop out 2 Tablespoon portions (I use a spring-loaded scooper) onto parchment lined baking sheets, leaving a couple inches between mounds.

Bake at 300º for about 20 minutes, until cracked and the surface has set, but the cookies are still soft and moist inside.  Place cookie sheets on racks to cool for a minute or two before carefully loosening meringues from parchment with a pancake turner and setting the cookies on the cooling rack to finish cooling.


Glittereati–Amoebic! January 24, 2010

Filed under: cake,glittereati — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 10:14 am

take me to your cake

gateau geode


Glazed Veggies January 23, 2010

Filed under: easy,Indian,thrift,vegetables,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 4:56 pm

eat your veggies!

We’re gettin’ back to our roots around here.  Winter roots, that is, plus the ubiquitous broccoli stems (I confess I’d eat broccoli almost every day if it were available year-round locally).  Here’s a fantastic glazed veggie recipe, gleaned from that essential tome, Lord Krishna’s Cuisine,  The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking. Yamuna Devi‘s invaluable reference, this encyclopedic guide will learn you a thing or twenty about Vedic cuisine, including many south Indian and Bengali recipes and techniques.  Even dedicated carnivores can appreciate the wealth of dishes explained and the breadth of styles explored.  Devi, a warm and engaging woman (these Hindus must be on to something), sang back up for the Beatles(!) and has written several other cookbooks, but this text, her magnum opus, constitutes a culinary education.

I first cracked open Lord Krishna’s Cuisine, a treasured gift from a lost friend, almost two decades ago, and the experience, expertise and spirit of Devi (no, I’m not a Hindu) drew in this young foodie as if it were my own bildungsroman of cookery.  I grew as a cook, albeit a conscientiously meat-eating cook.  You could take away all my other cookbooks–that would be hundreds–and I would miss only cake (I don’t need formulas for frying bacon!).  But of course, I’ve been in love with the flavorful foods of the subcontinent for many years.

Though I do sometimes add onions and garlic to Devi’s allium-less recipes (an unfortunate Vedic principle), nearly every dish I’ve tried from her book is perfect.  So I respectfully present to you this very slightly modified version of  her “Gajar Sabji–Glazed Carrots.”


  • about one pound glazeable local vegetables such as carrots, radishes, turnips, kohlrabi or rutabagas, plus—you guessed it—very well peeled broccoli stems
  • 2 Tablespoons ghee or organic butter plus one Tablespoon butter  (divided use)—I make my own ghee out of Organic Valley butter.  Click to find out how.
  • 2 Tablespoons organic brown sugar, light or dark.  Central Market’s organic brand is usually the best buy.
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 Tablespoons Texas orange juice—you’ll find Texas oranges, sweet and succulently juicy, at local grocery stores as well as our farmers markets right now.  Whole Foods is even offering bagged organic Texas oranges on special right now.
  • 2/3 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice from a local and/or organic lemon—ask your neighbor!
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • chopped local cilantro

Chop your veggies into bite-sized chunks.  You can halve or quarter radishes and baby turnips depending on their size.  Combine your hardest veggies—carrots, mature turnips, kohlrabi, rutabaga and large daikon radishes–in a skillet or small straight-sided saute pan–I use a 2-quart saute pan.  Add the two tablespoons ghee or butter and the next seven ingredients.  Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  I like to use a glass lid so I can keep an eye on the process.  Not all cookware lines come equipped with handy see-through lids so check out your local thrift store to find assorted brands of glass lids for a buck or two.

After simmering for 10 minutes, add your tenderer vegetables like broccoli stems and baby turnips.  Continue to cook for about 6 minutes or so until the veggies are about done to your liking, then remove the lid and raise the heat to evaporate the cooking liquid, leaving your roots glossily glazed.  Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter plus the lemon juice and nutmeg, an black pepper and cilantro to taste.

Do eat this hot, preferably at one meal.  I have a high tolerance for leftovers but I’ll confide that this dish is best when freshly prepared.


Cosmic Cowgirl Confers Confiture–Cake it! January 19, 2010

Filed under: cake,dessert,easy — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 5:49 pm

winter's sweet rewards

At a recent yummy gathering of food and folks, local food blogger cosmic cowgirl bestowed gem-like jars of jewel-toned Texas red grapefruit marmalade on lucky lingerers.  That’s right, my favorite fruit, finely preserved.  You know where my booty went—right into a cake!

Check out cosmic cowgirl’s step-by-step illustrated instructions and stretch the local bounty with cannin’ in your canon.

Bake a cake as for the Bonus recipe in my  “Quick Coffee Cake and Bonus” post.  Split the cooled cake into two layers and spread a great local or homemade jam in between.  For this grapefruit version, I glazed my gateau with a simple blend of Texas red grapefruit juice and organic powdered sugar (look for Central Market’s brand for the best value) with a touch of vanilla extract.

Local sweet’s the sweetest!


Dai Due–Toss-o in the Tasso

Filed under: Austin Farmers Market,beans,Dai Due,easy,slow cooker,tasso — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:04 pm

tasso on top

Once again my favorite local charcuterie source seasons my beans.  Dried legumes, even organic, are a bargain as well as nutritional gold.  So you can afford delicious, sustainable and good for you meat when you stretch its flavor with versatile beans.  A half pound of Dai Due‘s seriously smoky tasso (hewn from local pork and crafted without nitrates) can fortify a good two pounds of dried black-eyed peas (or the pulse of your choice) or fancy up your feijoada for posher prandials.  My last batch of hoppin’ john included a pound of organic black-eyed peas (from Whole Foods bulk department.  I bring my own bag.), Texas leeks, local carrot tops (always cut off the tops before storing your carrots, but don’t throw them away!), domestic organic garlic, a home grown bay leaf and that fragrantly meaty, smoky tasso, seared for Maillard’s sake, all crocked up in the slow cooker on HIGH for a few hours.  I added a splash of organic apple cider vinegar (WF 365 brand is usually the best buy) towards the end.  Remember to salt at the beginning of the process, to fully salinate the beans and facilitate even cooking.

Serve over cooked Lowell Farms Texas grown organic jasmine rice with lots of freshly cracked black pepper and pickled hot peppers or hot sauce, if you please.  Cornbread plays friendly here, too.


tomato paste cake

Filed under: cake,dessert,easy,leftovers — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 11:04 am

lookin' for a burnt orange "hook 'em" cake?

So you used a couple tablespoons of tomato paste for a recipe and now what?  Make a cake of course!  After all, Campbell’s canned tomato soup is the “mystery” ingredient in the recipe for “Mystery Cake,”  popularized during the Great Depression, so the practice isn’t without precedent.  Tomato adds tang and depth, and there ain’t nuthin wrong with a little umami in your dessert.

For the topping, I took a cue from Sally and Martin Stone’s fun and clever cookbook Desserts with a Difference, filled with ingenious recipes for vegetable laden sweets.  The coconut/tomato combination unleashes a tasty synergy, certainly familiar to Indian food aficionados.

This recipe also utilizes those egg yolks I had leftover from making “Frito Meringues” (still in beta testing phase) with game night’s surplus Central Market organic corn chips.  Plus I finished up the last of that bag of frozen shredded coconut.  Sweet way to clean house!


  • 6 ounces organic butter, softened.  I recommend Organic ValleyClick for a coupon.
  • zest of one Texas lemon, orange or tangerine, or a combination
  • 4 egg yolks, from local eggs
  • ¼ cup organic sour cream, regular or light (Organic Valley is great), or homemade ½-n-½
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract or homemade vanilla rum
  • 200 grams (2 cups) sifted King Arthur cake flour blend (unbleached!).  Best price at Central Market.
  • 200 grams (1 cup) organic sugar.  Whole Foods and CM sell this in bulk for $1.79 a pound.
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder,sieved.  I like Rumford, aluminum-free and non-GMO.
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda, sieved
  • ½ teapsoon salt.  I use Real Salt.
  • ½ cup organic tomato paste.  CM organics is the best value I’ve found.

Preheat your oven to 350º.  Grease and flour a 9″ round pan (2 ½” to 3″ tall) and line the bottom with waxed paper or parchment (Natural Value and If You Care are environmentally friendlier brands).  I like reusable pan liners—I throw them in the (clothes) washing machine for low maintenance cleaning.

Place the butter and zest in the bowl of a standing mixer.  Combine egg yolks, 3 Tablespoons sour cream and vanilla in a small bowl.  In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and next four ingredients.  Add dry ingredients and tomato paste to butter and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 1 ½ minutes.  The batter will be thick.  Scrape the bottom and sides with a flexible spatula.  Beat in the yolk mixture in three parts, mixing for 20 seconds after each addition and scraping the bowl well (be sure to get at the bottom).

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.  Because the batter is thick, I like to place a rose nail (metal!) flat side down into the middle of the batter, all the way to the bottom.  This is a nifty trick that Rose Levy Beranbaum revealed in her newest book, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. I recommend using cake strips if you don’t have a rose nail (check out this cute DIY video).  The nail is handy and cheap though.  Buy one at Michael’ s craft store when you get a 40% OFF coupon in the mail or newspaper.  Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cake tests done—a toothpick or bamboo skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before unmolding.  Make this easy glaze while the cake cools a bit:

Whisk together the sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.  Mix in the coconut.  Glaze will be thick and chunky.  Spread on top of the cake (a warm cake is ideal) right away.


Fluffata January 18, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 3:47 pm

brunch on this!

A while back we used up the rest of the spinach queso from game night.  Refrigerated previously boiled local potatoes–ready to be called into action, braved friendly fire to yield quick homefries.  I smash ’em with the heel of my hand for rough chunks, season them with plenty of salt and pepper and give ’em a hot fat bath for crispy crusts.

Wipe out the pan and get to work on the protein:

FLUFFATA serves several brunchers

  • 7 local eggs, room temperature
  • generous ¼  cup organic heavy cream, chilled.  Organic Valley is great. Click for a coupon.
  • generous ¼ teaspoon seasoned salt, such as organic Herbamare
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons organic butter.  I love Organic Valley.
  • plenty of fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400º.  Whoop up your eggs til foamy and at least tripled in volume.  A stand mixer is best for this.  Meanwhile, whip your cream to soft peaks.  I use a cold balloon whisk.  Cold bowl, cold cream and cold whisk equals minimal whoopin’ time so don’t worry about throwing your arm out.  And meanwhile meanwhile, heat up the butter and black pepper in a 12″ nonstick or well-seasoned skillet (with an ovenproof handle) on medium-low heat, swirling the pan to spread the butter around.  You want the butter to bubble and brown a bit for a toasty, tasty crust on your omelet.

When your eggs have achieved their loftiest volume, quickly fold in the cream using the whisk.  Pour the mixture into your hot pan and cook for three minutes, until the edges of the omelet have begun to set.  Place the pan in the hot oven and bake for six or seven minutes, until set in the middle.

Slide the omelet onto a cooling rack and slice and serve right away.  Actually cold leftovers are still delicious.  We enjoyed our most recent fluffata on a bed of those homefried local potatoes, topped with the spinach queso (Cora Lamar’s triple-washed savoy greens from Poteet) and salsa.

The incredible local egg.  Can’t be beat!      (sorry!)


Local Zone, um…(Lo)Calzone January 14, 2010

Filed under: bread,bread machine,vegetables,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 8:45 pm

Calzone, calzone, what makes your big head so hard?

However you spell it, these pizza-ish turnovers, filled with local veggies and cheese, warmed our bellies and house last night.  A twist on pizza Thursday, these pockets don’t require much more work than full-size pies.  In fact, filling, shaping and baking seven calzones seemed to take even less time than assembling three pizzas.  And they were great company food, fun and easy to eat even for the toddlers.

I made this batch vegetarian.  You can add meat—I recommend almost any variety of Dai Due‘s scrumptious sausages fashioned from locally sourced ingredients (they return to Austin Farmers Market this Saturday)—or you can feed your vegan by replacing the cheeses with organic miso.  I love South River‘s handmade white miso.  Just stir in your favorite miso to taste, starting with at least a couple tablespoons.

LOCAL-ZONES makes seven pockets

  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon turbinado sugar.  I buy this in bulk at Central Market.  I bring in my own jar and a staff member tares the weight for me.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt.  I use Real Salt.
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, organic or local—Texas Olive Ranch
  • 10 ounces organic kamut flour.  Experiment with other whole grain flours such as spelt or local wheat.  Look for Richardson Farms at Sunset Valley Farmers Market or Wylie Farm and Ranch at Austin Farmers Market.
  • 12 ounces organic all-purpose flour.  The best price I’ve been finding lately has been Whole Foods 365 in the 5# bag.
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons bread machine yeast (rapid rise or instant, NOT active dry)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cleaned Texas leeks, halved and sliced thin (available at Central Market for $2.99 per bunch of three).  Chop them finer if you wish.
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ pound Kitchen Pride Texas-grown cremini mushrooms, chopped fine.  I use the food processor.
  • pinch dried thyme, or fresh if you wanna brave the damp.
  • 3 Texas-grown broccoli tops, chopped fine—food processor again.
  • several cloves organic garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup canned organic tomatoes.  I used Muir Glen diced fire-roasted, pulsed in the processor to a chunky texture.
  • 16 olives, chopped.  Check out Texas Olive Ranch’s selection the next time your at our farmers markets.
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 4 ounces chèvre.  I used Wateroak Farm‘s very creamy plain fresh goat cheese.  You’ll find their products as well as Swede Farm Dairy‘s at Sunset Valley Farmers Market.  Maid in the Shade goat cheeses sell at the Austin Farmers Market and a variety of Pure Luck‘s goat cheeses can be purchased at Central Market, Whole Foods Market, Wheatsville Co-op and Boggy Creek Farm.
  • ½ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil and kosher salt for shaping

Make the dough:  I use the bread machine’s dough cycle, but I remove the dough as soon as it’s finished kneading and give it a cool 4 hour rise in the refrigeratorThis dough is very active and you may need to press it down a couple times during the fermentation period.  You can even let it rise longer, refrigerated, if you need extra time to whoop up yer filling.

Cook the filling:  Heat the 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the leeks, salt and a Tablespoon or so water and saute until the leeks have softened.  Raise the heat and add the mushrooms and thyme.  Cook, stirring until the mushrooms have dried a bit, then add the broccoli.  Continue to cook and stir until the broccoli is fairly tender, then stir in the garlic and oregano, releasing their fragrance for a minute before adding the tomatoes.  Stir around a bit on lowest heat to assure an un-runny filling, then mix in the olives, basil and cheeses until well-blended.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Before assembling, preheat your oven to 500º.  Place a baking stone on the bottom rack.  You can get by without a stone, but your crusts will bake up crisper and more evenly.

Divide the dough into seven equalish pieces.  I do this by forming a ball with the dough and then dividing it with a knife into uneven halves.  I divide one half into fourths and one into thirds.  You can pinch and add to even the seven portions up, if necessary, but you needn’t be too  worried about a little imprecision.  Roll each ball into an approximately 9″ circle.  Place about 2/3 cup filling onto one half of the dough, leaving a ½” border of dough.  Fold the bare half of dough over the filling and seal the edges by pressing the seams firmly with your fingertips.  Place finished calzone on a piece of parchment paper.  Repeat for each ball of dough, making seven calzones, then brush the tops of each with a light coat of olive oil and finish with a sprinkling of kosher salt as desired.  With a sharp paring knife, slash four or five 1½” or so bias cuts into the top layer of dough on each calzone.

Using a large spatula (the pancake turner kind), cake lifter or pizza peel, slide as many calzones as will fit roomily onto your baking stone or oven rack.  Bake for about 10 minutes, until nicely browned.  Let calzones cool on a rack for about 5 minutes before eating.  They’re hot!