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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

cookbook challenge #7

[About the New Years' resolution behind this]

From The Really Useful Ultimate Student Cookbook, by Silvana Franco, I made calazone. To be precise, I made two kinds of calazone - one with courgettes (zucchini), and one with cheesy potatoes. MmmmMMMM! Seven down, ten to go.

Franco has a way, throughout this recipe book, of taking a basic idea - like a baked potato, for example - and suggesting a number of ways to make this more interesting. It's fantastic, and really useful, just as the title promises. In this case, she suggests making calzone or pizza, gives you a recipe for pizza dough, and then has suggestions for toppings or fillings. I couldn't decide. So I made a sample of both, rationalising that we could use the leftovers for lunches.

I simply made the pizza dough in the breadmaker, using the breadmaker manual's instructions for this - multiplying the recipe by 1.5. Nice and easy, it smells gorgeous, and tastes beautiful, without all the hard work. You do need to allow about 45 minutes for the dough to be ready, however.

Preheat the oven to 220*C or 450*F.

Here are the instructions for these particular fillings.

For the courgettes, you will need:
About 3 small courgettes or 1 large one
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
4 tablespoons olive oil

Quarter the courgettes lengthways and then slice very thinly to make little wedges. Toss with the onion, garlic, parsley and plenty of salt/pepper.

For the cheesy potatoes, you will need:
500g potatoes, diced (I used a bit more to make it go further)
2 tablespoons milk
125g cheese, grated
1 small onion, finely chopped
a few leaves fresh basil, roughly torn

Cook the potatoes in plenty of boiling salted water for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Drain well and mash with the milk until smooth and fluffy. Stir in the cheese, onion, basil and plenty of seasoning.

At this point, I divided the dough into five portions. I rolled each on a floury board into a large-ish rectangle. (For the cheesy potato calzone, Franco suggests grating some Parmesan and rolling the dough on this as well as on the flour. This tasted good.)

I piled the courgette mixture onto two of the rectangles, only on one half of each, leaving a small gap around the edges. I dampened the edges, and then folded the other half of the dough over, pressing with my fingers to seal. Onto a lightly oiled baking tray, and into the oven to cook for 15 minutes.

I piled the potato mixture onto three of the rectangles, on one half of each, leaving a small gap around the edges (as above), and folded over (as above). This also went into the oven for 15 minutes, until crusty and golden!

I sliced it, and served it with a green salad.

This was a meal that went down really, really well. We had an extra unexpected guest, but it served all six of us easily, with leftovers for our lunches the next day. It was tasty, the dough was a really nice change from pastry-type savouries, it was filling. It was a super-cheap meal, but didn't seem cheap, if that makes sense.

Next time, I would be a little more wanton with the amount of seasoning, and I would probably add garlic to the potato mixture too. And yet I feel very satisfied with this fantastic meal. I am sure I will come back to it in the future, to experiment and to reproduce.

1 comment:

Stacy said...

A "little more wanton with the amount of seasoning" next time? That's great. :)

Your calzone looks really tasty!