Friday, July 10, 2015

You’ve Entered the Calzone Zone

I’ve never been a huge fan of the calzone, and I assume most people that don’t eat their pizza crusts feel the same way. However, since this has been requested hundreds of times, I thought I’d put my personal feelings aside, and give the recipe a shot.

I call it a recipe, but it’s actually a technique, since the calzone's greatest feature is its ability to accept any combination of cheese, meat, and vegetables as a filling. Today, calzones are most commonly stuffed with the exact same toppings that go on a pizza, which, besides the crust issue, was one of my main problems with it. I mean, why not just fold a pizza in half, and call it a day?

So, I decided to do what I hear is a more traditional filling, featuring ricotta, fresh mozzarella, and ham. The result was as enjoyable, as it was surprising. It was almost, but not quite, lasagna-like. The extra crust didn’t bother me as much, and everything seemed to work together beautifully.

I decided to recommend our Wolfgang Puck dough recipe, because it's fast and easy, and features a nice lightly textured dough, but any prepared pizza dough will work nicely. 

Just be sure to bake this long enough. If you make these the same size, it’s going to take about 15 minutes at 500 F. Your calzone may look nicely browned at 10 minutes, and it will be tempting to take out, but the dough will still be raw. You really want to push this to the point of almost burning.

And what happens if you go too far, and it does burn? No problem. Just order a pizza and fold it in half. So, whether you’re already a calzone lover, or a reluctant skeptic like me, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 Calzones:
1 batch of our Wolfgang Puck pizza dough (get the recipe here), divided into 4 dough balls
8 slices prosciutto
2 cups ricotta, drained if necessary
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin, and drained on paper towel
1 1/2 cup finely diced smoked ham
freshly ground black pepper to taste
cayenne to taste
(note: before folding, I forgot to drizzle the top of the filling with a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, which I think would have been a nice touch.)
corn meal for the pan
2 cups marina sauce for dipping, optional
1 egg for egg wash
Parmesan cheese for dusting tops
- Bake at 500 F. for 15 minutes

15 comments:

Jim Dowell said...

Anyone else thinking of Ben Wyatt right now?

"Highway to the Calzone zone!"

blue Arc said...

Looks delicious! I can do this!

Jim Dowell said...

Anyone else thinking of Ben Wyatt?

"Highway to the Calzone zone!"

José Luis Ávila Herrera said...

Thank you! This look absolutely delicious. We will try yo make it this weekend. -José

Joe Sixpack said...

looks like im going to be making alots of them now that I see how easy Thx Chef John for another easy and im sure tasty recipe

kristen krieger said...

I use your pita bread recipe as a pizza and calzone dough. Sometimes I mix in garlic and parm cheese. It seems similar enough to the Wolfgang Puck dough so I'm probably going to keep using it. I wasn't baking it at 500 for the calzone though and I could never get the crust to feel right. Maybe that's the trick. thanks!

Bryan Soto said...

Just in time for Top Gun 2. You had me with Al Capone, but the Kenny Loggins follow up had me laughing out loud. While the project is only in a development stage, we can hope Top Gun 2 will include the immortal classic, Highway to the Calzone Zone.

Sherry Bolinger said...

You could make a picnic basket with these calzones in two or three varieties, and your fabulous apple hand pies, for the yacht or a concert-in-the-park.

- spoonstories- said...

Oh my dear, this is the best calzone, ever!! I will try it for sure!!Thank U!

cookinmom said...

Excellent! Made these with added spinach, homemade pesto w/ tad of evoo like you suggested. Used cottage cheese cause' that's what I had (instead of ricotta). Homemade garden pizza sauce to go with it. Mmm mmm good!!! Enjoy your vacation. Tks again.

Cacar said...

Chef John I think you are awesome! You always have yummy recipes with a side of laughs!
I fall asleep to your videos every night, I mean this in a good way.

Rik de Kort said...

Am I correct in assuming you made the Wolfgang Puck pizza dough exactly as in that video, including the resting for 20 minutes after quartering the dough?

Chef John said...

yes!

Winkie Man said...

Chef John! I went to slice the mozzarella and the inside was liquid, is that normal?

David Elmore said...

Thought you should know that Parks & Rec swiped your "highway to the calzone zone" line. Season 7, episode 9 "Pie Mary", around the 9:50 mark and **BOOM**... Chef John's humor cannot be forgotten. You've made waves, my friend. Big waves. Are we still friends if I watch Parks & Rec, or did I just ruin our relationship?