Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Beets Incognito Trial #1 - Gnocchi with Sage Cream sauce

Boyfriend loathes beets.  I was roasting some the other day and he said that the smell alone made him nauseous.


Because I get a lot of beets in my CSA box this time of year.

The difficult thing about trying to sneak beets into food is that they turn everything bright pink/red.  Its a dead giveaway!!  And for the life of me I can't think of very many pink/red meals where you might not notice the color change from the beets.  Meatloaf maybe?  But eww... meatloaf...  I mean seriously people, its a loaf of meat.  I don't know how that meal ever became famous.  Although, it did originate in the days of tuna casserole, spam burgers, and jello molds... so I'm guessing Americans were willing to try anything back in the day.

Sorry, I got off on a little tangent there.

Man, I'm really hoping to get some golden beets soon because I think they'll be easier to mix into other foods unnoticed.  For reasons of color (not red) and flavor (milder than regular beets).

Last year I made beet bread that turned out OK.  This was, however, back when I truly believed I couldn't bake a loaf of bread to save my life.  I might try it again this year now that I have more experience and a KitchenAid mixer....

So, even though he'll probably guess that there is something different about this meal, I figured I'd give it a try anyway.  I've made sweet potato gnocchi before, why not beet gnocchi?  Maybe I'll just lie a little and say I dyed them pink with food coloring to show how much I loooove him. Puh-leese, he'll never buy that, it's way too sappy.  I don't even pull out that much sap during Valentine's Day.

Sorry sorry... distracted again... back on task:

Making the gnocchi:
I've tried making potato gnocchi in the past.  It was good, light, fluffy, etc.  I just screwed it up in the end with some too-aggressive sauce mixing which resulted in turning my beautiful gnocchi pillows into lumpy mashed potatoes.  With Gorgonzola cream sauce.  So, not a total failure seeing as anything covered in Gorgonzola cream is damn tasty.

Still, I'm feeling culinary-confident these days, so why not try some ricotta "gnudi" instead of potato gnocchi?  North vs South, baby (Italy, that is).

I mixed together 1 package (4oz?) of Vermont Creamery Goat cheese and the remainder of my homemade ricotta (3/4C?) in the KitchenAid along with 2 eggs, some S&P, and a pinch of nutmeg

I then added 1 cup of roasted, peeled and pureed beets:

The final addition is 2 cups of flour in 1/2 cup increments until a loose, sticky dough formed.  I tried not to overknead it, but this was a super-wet dough and I think I may have used more flour than I wanted to.  Anyway, HEAVILY flour your work surface and roll handfuls of the dough into a long snake:

Then, I just cut 1" pieces down the length of the "snake" and indented with a fork for that traditional "gnocchi" look:

I agree, these aren't the prettiest things ever, and I was still crossing my fingers that they would turn out ok despite the "heavy" flouring.

I dumped my gnudi (in batches) into a pot of salted boiling water and waited until they floated to the surface.  Once floating, I let the cook another minute or so then removed them with a slotted spoon and placed them on a baking sheet to dry a little.

I wanted to give them a little texture and decided to pan fry them in some butter and olive oil to crisp them up:

Once they were "crisped", I took them out of the pan, and added 1 tbsp of flour and a little more butter to make a roux for my cream sauce.  Wow, I just realized how terribly unhealthy this dinner turned out to be....  I added 3/4 C milk to my roux and some fresh sage and whisked over medium heat until it thickened up, similar to making a bechamel.

Season with a little salt and pepper, and pour over the gnudi.  Served with homemade bread (toasted) and some wine. 

And the best part?  Boyfriend liked it!  Ate the whole thing, didn't even flinch.  I never said a word... well... until now [insert sneaky grin here]

Another bonus: I'll quickly discover whether or not he actually reads my blog as he claims :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Radish and Beet Greens Risotto

There are a few basic meals that make good vehicles for disposing of extra vegetables.  Risotto is one of them.  I love making risotto, despite the fact that you literally have to stand over a hot stove for about 30 minutes.... stirring....

Yes, I've always done it the "old-fashioned" way and probably always will.  I've read plenty of articles on "no-stir" methods of risotto, but to be honest, isn't that just making regular rice?  Its the stirring that breaks up the starches and give risotto that creamy texture, sans cream.

I'd been craving risotto for a while and figured now was as good a time as any.  I still had a plethora of radishes from my CSA box last week along with some beet greens that still needed to be used.  And I just picked up more this past Sunday.  Something needed to be done.

Unfortunately, risotto is one of those things that I've been making for so long now that I never measure anything.  I'll guess-timate, but honestly, you'd better rely on your own tastebuds to tell you appropriate quantities.

Ingredients: (for 3-4 servings)
1C Arborio rice
1 onion, diced
1/4 - 1/2 C dry white wine (I used Sauv. Blanc)
2-3 C chicken stock/broth
Radishes, sliced
Beet greens, washed, chopped, and cooked down
1/4 - 1/2 C Romano cheese, shredded (could probably use just about anything - Parm, Asiago, Chevre, etc)
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

First things first, prep the radishes and greens:

You'll need 2 saucepans to make risotto.  I usually start by heating one saucepan over medium heat and melting together 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter.  In the other saucepan, I warm my chicken stock over med-low heat, you don't need it boiling, just warm.

I add my onion (to the first pan) and cook until soft, about 5min.  Add the rice to the pot and stir to coat all the rice kernels with the butter/oil mixture and slightly toast them, 2-3min or so.  Add the white wine and stir until the rice has absorbed it all and the bottom of the pan is dry, like so:

Now, you'll start adding the chicken broth.  I usually start with about 1cup, but for future additions use only 1/2 cup each time.  Add the broth and stir.  Keep stirring until the rice has absorbed all of the stock, then add more (1/2 C).  And stir.  Stir.  All absorbed?  Add more stock.  Stir.  Stir.  Add stock.  Stir.  Stir. Add.... you get the pattern :)
 * You can see my chicken stock in the back pot *

This will continue for about 20 minutes until your rice is almost cooked through and surrounded by creamy, starchy-ness.  At this stage, add the radishes, beet greens, and cheese.  The radishes give the risotto a slight pinkish hue... cute!

Let this cook for maybe another 2-5 minutes so that the flavors come together, then season with S&P as needed.  Ladle into serving bowls, top with a little extra cheese, and enjoy.

I served this with a salad (lettuce and cucumbers from the CSA box as well) and the remainder of my Sauvignon Blanc.  The crispness of the wine really balanced the creaminess of the risotto.  I really liked the combination of slight peppery bites of radish along with the earthy notes of the beet greens.  I'm thinking this easily could have stood up to a light pinot noir or petite syrah as well.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Basil and Thyme

I'm so excited.  You have no idea.  All these years I thought I had a "black" thumb in regards to gardening.  I had tried and tried and tried to grow my own herbs and they always died. Always.  I tried watering more often.  Dead.  Watering less often.  Dead.  More sun. Dead.  Less sun. Dead.

Turns out... maybe it wasn't me... because lo and behold:

THYME and BASIL sprouts!!

I seriously just put some seeds in some dirt and placed the planter outside my window.  I haven't done a thing since.  Perhaps living in New England instead of ARIZONA is the key ingredient I'd been missing all those years....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mi Famiglia - Southern Italian Dinner

I've only been to Italy once in my life, and I can barely remember the small town where I stayed on Italy's western, sunny coast.  I do, however, remember the food.  Obviously.  According to my Mom, my great-grandparents, Angelo and Sofia, emigrated to New York through Ellis Island from Sicily back in the early 1900s.  Even though like most Americans I'm a bit of a European mutt, I connect with the Italian side of my heritage the most.  I love the culture of following passion, the poetic language, and especially the simple, yet paradoxically complex, food.

Now that summer is upon us I can feel the pull of Southern Italy again.  I remember the lemon trees mostly.  Tart lemons, salty olives, spicy pepper, earthy rosemary.... these are the sights, smells, and flavors that make me think of Italy in summer.

For dinner, I decided to make a lemon-y, southern Italian marinade for chicken breasts, served with cauliflower roasted with green olives and bacon, and fresh bread.  Easy. Flavorful. Summer.

Combine 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil with 2 lemon rinds, a few bay leaves, a couple rosemary sprigs, a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat, and a tsp or so of cracked peppercorns into a pot.  Cook over moderate heat just until the olive oil starts sizzling and "frying" the other ingredients. Add a hefty pinch of salt and turn off the heat. Let the flavored oil cool slightly, then stir in the juice of your 2 peeled lemons and 1/3 cup water.

Once the marinade was cool, I poured it into a freezer bag and added 2 chicken breasts.  I let this marinate for about 2-3 hours.  Depending on what you're marinating, you don't want to let it go too long because the citrus will slowly "cook" your protein.  So, for example, if you want to use this on fish, I'd say marinate for an hour tops.  In case you're wondering, the "citrus-cooking-protein" thing is the rationale behind ceviche....

To cook, I heated up a saute pan, added my chicken breasts and some of the marinade, and cooked about 4min per side until they were cooked through.  Easy peasy.

I attempted to make a light sauce by adding some cream to the pan juices after taking it off the heat.  I should have known better.  The marinade/pan juices were wayyyyy too acidic and my cream broke in the sauce.  Still tasty, just not very pretty.  Oh well.  Failure breeds success.

Roasted Cauliflower with Green Olives, Bacon and Walnuts
I've mentioned it before, but I truly believe that roasting cauliflower is the best.  To give it that "Italian" flare, I decided to roast it with some green olives, bacon, and toasted walnuts. I'm sure this sounds like the strangest combination ever, but trust me, it was delicious!  Probably my favorite cauliflower side dish so far.  I would rather have used prosciutto instead of bacon, but I didn't have any, its expensive, and I'm on a budget.

Simply enough, I cut up the cauliflower florets, roughly chopped some green olives (real ones, not the kind with the pimentos), diced a couple slices of center-cut bacon, sprinkled on some salt and pepper, and tossed it into a 400F toaster oven.  Yes, I used the toaster oven.  Why?  Because it was a million degrees outside and the last thing I wanted to do was heat the apartment further by turning on the real oven.  The toaster oven worked just fine!  After plating, I sprinkled some toasted walnuts on top, and I think pine nuts would have been a comparable, or maybe even better, substitution.

I love love loved this dinner.  Light and refreshing for a hot summer night.  Pretty easy too.  I had a glass (or 2) of Sauvignon Blanc with this and the citrus notes really complemented the dish.  Boyfriend stuck with beer.  I guess white wine is just too girly for him :)

I'll definitely be using this marinade again, likely on fish next time.  Maybe halibut or tilapia... with roasted asparagus or maybe creamed kale from my CSA on the side?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

3 Cheese and Kale Pizza

So, funny story.  Back when I was younger (aka the majority of my 20's) I was convinced that I didn't like pizza.  I know!  Crazy!  Who in their right mind doesn't like pizza?!?!?  I always found it super-filling, yet strangely un-satisfying.  I don't know about you, but when I feel like my stomach going to explode, I want to be completely satiated, not just full.

I blame this on Pizza Hut (high-school years) and Papa John's (late-night drunk college years).

Anyway, my best friend and roommate in graduate school worked very hard to change all of that.  She grew up in Chicago and ate pizza at least 5 times a week.  I wish I was exaggerating.  She thought I was crazy when I'd order a salad at our local pizza joint.  I now realize how correct she actually was... I was completely batshit.

This is the "Greens" time of the year for the CSA crowd so I'll do my best to make it fun and exciting.  Today, I decided to make it a star ingredient in a vegetarian pizza. I got a monster-bunch of kale this week, so I cleaned it, chopped it up, and threw it in a skillet with some olive oil, and let it cook down for about 10min.
After that was done, I caramelized some onions in the same pan, wiping out the kale juice and adding 1 tbsp butter and some more olive oil.  Caramelizing onions is a bitch but they are just so damn tasty.  Low heat, don't stir too often, be patient.  I, unfortunately, wasn't patient enough and mine were soft but still yellow-ish instead of dark brown.  Oh well. 
In the meantime, it's dough-time!  This is the first pizza dough I've ever made.  I used Mario Batali's recipe, which you can find here. It turned out really good, but I might try some variations on this just to experiment.

*dough rising.... rising..... RISING....RISING!  There was a lot of yeast in Mario's recipe so I'm not surprised....

I preheated my *new* pizza stone in the oven set at 500F while I assembled my pizza.  I rolled out the dough on a cornmeal-coated parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Topped it with a drizzle of olive oil, some fontina cheese, some of my homemade ricotta, the caramelized onions, and the cooked kale.  I finished it off with a sprinkle of fresh grated Parmesan cheese and threw it in the oven.

I let it cook for about 15minutes or until the crust looked golden brown and the cheese was gooey and bubbling.  Here it is fresh out of the oven:

I literally went running into the living room where Boyfriend was doing work, jumped around like a little girl, and shrieked about how perfect this pizza turned out.  I believe I may have called it my "masterpiece".  I told (shrieked at) him to get excited because this pizza was going to "blow his mind".  He stared at me like I had just blown a gasket and the Laura-train was now officially headed straight to Batshit-Crazy Town.

What?  So I get excited about cooking... that's why I have a blog, remember? :)

Before slicing and devouring, I drizzled some truffle oil over the top, just to really go overboard with it.

So cheesy, so flavorful, so SATISFYING! :) I win.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Never buy Ricotta again!

What can you do with a quart of milk, 1/2 cup of cream, salt, lemon juice and 15min? 


I swear to all things holy, it really is that easy.  I didn't believe it myself, but thought, "Hey, I'm making pizza tonight anyway, let's give it a shot".

Step 1: Heat milk
I used a quart of whole milk and 1/2 C of light cream.  I realize this will make it fatty, but I wanted it to work the first time around and it seems that every time I try to experiment by making things lower in fat they don't turn out.  Perhaps this is why I still believe that I'm incapable of baking desserts....

Heat the milk, cream, and salt (1/4 tsp or so) in a pot over med-high heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches a simmer.  Now, listen up everyone.  A simmer is NOT a boil.  Simmer means small bubbles barely coming to the surface.  If you let this come to a rolling boil prepare yourself for scorched milk and possibly a new sauce pot.

Step 2: Add acid
Once the simmer stage is reached, add 1 1/2 or 2 tbsps of fresh lemon juice (in the blue bowl on the right).  Stir quickly just to mix, turn down the heat to maintain a light simmer, then sit back and watch the curds form.  After a minute or so, stir again.  Let it simmer for a couple minutes then stir again.  After 5 minutes or fewer, all the curds will have separated from the whey.  

Line a colander with some cheese cloth, and dump in your curds/whey mixture.  Let it drain in the sink for about an hour, turning and/or squeezing at the half-way point.

Easy as that.  Boom! Best ricotta I've ever had.  Next I will try this with goat's milk or maybe a different type of acid just to see how the flavors work out.

Oh, and about that "pizza for dinner" thing.... I'll post it tomorrow I promise.

CSA Salad in Frico

Our wine club met last Thursday and the theme was "California vs Argentina".  I brought a Byron Chardonnay (CA) and decided to bring a California-inspired appetizer to go with it.  When I think California, I think salads, fresh ingredients, Alice Waters, and avocados.

Here is my creation: Individual salads in Frico (aka Parmesan cheese cups).  I used as many ingredients from my CSA as I could, to give it that Cali "fresh, healthy" feel.

Step 1: Make Frico
You can find many articles online for how to do this, and it is pretty easy, albeit slightly time-consuming.  Many are picky about using only fresh-grated high-quality Parmesan.  I don't have time to hand-grate all that cheese so I just bought it pre-shredded at the grocery store (BelGioioso) and it worked fine.

Mound 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.  Flatten to a thin-ish round like so:
Stick it into a 350F oven for 5-6 minutes, watching it carefully.  When it is melted, gooey, and slightly golden brown on the edges, take it out and let it cool for about a minute.  Then, working quickly, carefully peel it off of the baking sheet and drape it over an upside-down muffin tin, like so:
Now, I'm not going to lie to you... this might burn your fingers just a little depending on how sensitive your digits are. Mine have been through wayyyy worse and don't notice the burns anymore.  Be careful is all I'm saying.

Let the Frico harden on the muffin tins while you assemble the salad. 
Step 2: Make Salad 

Salad Ingredients:
Arugula (CSA)
Roasted Beets (CSA - Chiogga)
Walnuts, toasted
Dried cherries
Avocado, diced
Goat cheese (Vermont)

Dressing (mix all ingredients in a blender):
Sherry vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
a few drops of truffle oil
Extra virgin olive oil

I marinated my roasted beet slices in the salad dressing for about 15min and then sauteed them over med-high heat to caramelize.  I love roasted beets, but I wanted them to have a little more flavor for this salad:

To assemble, mix the salad ingredients in a bowl, toss with dressing, and fill Frico cups (see picture at the top).  Serve to your Wine Club and receive many compliments :)  Thanks girls!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Asian-Style Pork Burgers

Remember back in the day when I made Pork & Kimchi Dumplings?  Well, at the time, I had purchased a pound of ground pork, but only used half for that recipe, figuring that I wouldn't want 40 dumplings crowding my freezer.  Instead, I've had 1/2 lb of ground pork in said freezer chillin' for like 2 months (ooohhhh, pun intended!).

Fearing freezer-burn, I was brainstorming out to use up the rest of my ground pork.  My first thought went to Ma Po Tofu.  But I don't have any tofu or "Ma Po" sauce, whatever the heck that is, I mean, I usually just buy it pre-made at the Asian grocery store.  Hmmm.... but I think I'm on a roll with the Asian theme.  What else, what else?  What else I usually do with ground meats?  Uhm, spaghetti sauce, dumplings, Shepard's pie, burgers... Burgers! Yes!  I will make Ma Po Pork and Tofu burgers!  Wait... still the issue of no Ma Po or tofu..... so maybe I'll just make Asian-inspired Pork Burgers and use whatever I can find in my pantry.

Burger Stuff
1/2 lb ground pork
1/4 C unseasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsps onion, chopped fine
2 tbsps carrots, peeled and shredded with a peeler or box grater
2 tbsps fresh ginger, grated (not ground)
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sambal oelek (more if you like things hot)
1 egg

Getting Burger Into Mouth Stuff
2 good quality buns, brioche would be nice but damn expensive, kaiser works for the less spendy option
1/2 roasted sweet red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoons white sesame seeds
2 leaves lettuce (next time try napa cabbage slaw?), chopped
2 tbsps scallions, chopped ¼” thick

1) Mix the burger ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl and form into 2 patties about 3/4" thick, or at least the same size as your buns and slightly concave in the center (for even cooking, plus they puff up when cooked).
**The patties are very "loose" and fall apart easily.  I found that forming them in my hand and plopping them straight onto the press/grill worked best.
2) Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the raw meat and egg mixture.  Eeewwww!
3) Heat up and oil Panini press (aka my grill), or any type of grill-like thing you feel like using.
4) Place (or plop, see above) the patties on the grill. Cook these babies for about 6-7min.
** Its slightly quicker and don’t need to flip if using a press.  If using a grill, cook 6-7min then gently flip the burgers and cook another 4-6min.
5) Open lid (of your press) at the 6-7min mark and dollop some of the hoisin sauce on the top of each burger and spread. Theoretically, you should cook until the internal temp is around 160F.  However, I rarely take temperatures unless its a roast.... so don't be surprised when I end up with some terrible food-bourne illness.  I just poke them to see if they are firm, aka done.
6) I like my buns toasted, but Boyfriend does not.  Thus, I only toasted one bun.  I recommend it.  It’s just better that way.
7) Assembly:  Bun, lettuce, roasted red pepper strips, burger (hoisin side up), sprinkle of sesame seeds and scallions.
8) Place top of bun next to fancy-schmancy burger. Admire your work.  Shout “Dinner’s Ready” with authority.

Drink: We drank a light 2007 Domaine des Salices Pinot Noir with this meal.  Not because I thought it would be the "best" pairing, I actually think a light ale, good lager, a dryish Riesling, or a pink wine would be better.  However, pink wine is a hard sell in my house.  Red wine is loved by all.  So I chose a light one so as not to overwhelm the flavors of my pork burger.
Served with: Roasted cauliflower and a cold soba noodle salad with cucumbers, carrots, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili oil, rice vinegar, lime juice and zest, topped with toasted sesame seeds and scallions.
 The finished product was a fantastic mix of flavors.  Sweet from the hoisin and bell peppers, spicy from the sambal oelek, crunchy from the carrots and lettuce.  OM NOM NOM.  Not your usual burger, but a seriously welcomed departure.  I will definitely be making this again.  Boyfriend suggested next time to make them a little thicker for a bigger mouth-load of yummy burger-ness.  I agree.  It just happened that my buns were huge so I had to thin out my burgers to fit.

PS. Roasted cauliflower is the way to go always!  Sooooo much better than steaming it.  Roasting it really brings out better flavors and textures.  Highly recommended!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Go Greens!

My first recipe for using up all those Dark Leafy Greens you get this time of year in your CSA produce box is a Greek Green Calzone.  Or, if you aren't a CSA member but are feeling a little nutrient-deprived, go buy some greens and eat 'em like this!

Now, I'm no nutritionist, but I used to do a lot of reading on dietary habits and pitfalls as part of my graduate work.  One thing I know for sure is that most people rarely eat greens like kale, swiss chard, and the tops of radishes and beets except on New Year's Day in the South.  Greens are, calorie for calorie, one of the most concentrated sources of nutrition of any food. They are rich in vitamins and minerals (K, C, E, and many of the B's, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium).  Plus, they provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Perhaps the star of these nutrients is Vitamin K. A cup of most cooked greens provides at least nine times the minimum recommended intake of Vitamin K.... Nine Times!  Research has found roles for Vitamin K in blood clotting, inflammation, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis and even diabetes.

OK, no more geeky science and nutrition talk.  Let's eat!

Here are the greens I started with (swiss chard, radish greens, and beet greens):

Basically, on Sundays when I pick up my produce box, if there are any greens I immediately take them home, chop them off of their "roots" (beets, turnips, etc), and throw them into my sink that is filled with cold, highly salted water.  The salt helps pull off any bugs that might be present (they did come off a farm after all) and shaking them around in the water removes most of the dirt.

I pulled off all of the thicker, tougher stems, then roughly chopped all my greens and put in a colander in the sink to drain off some of the water. I'm guessing I have approximately 5-6 cups of greens here.
I chopped up 6 scallions, and threw them into a big saute pan with some garlic.  Then started adding my greens, letting them wilt and cook for about 10min or so.

** This is literally all of those greens that you saw in the sink and bowl above.

I put the cooked greens back into the colander in the sink to let them drain.  Once they were cool enough to handle I squeezed as much liquid out as I could and place them in a bowl.  I added some salt, pepper, feta (maybe 3oz?), parmesan (2-3 tbsps?), and roughly a tablespoon each of dried dill, dried oregano, and fresh basil.  I'm not really sure about those measurements because I just sprinkled and tasted... when it tasted right, I stopped seasoning it.  Simplicity!  Once the tasting/seasoning was over, I added an egg and mixed it in (see picture at the top).

Next, I whipped together an easy dough in the KitchenAid by mixing 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1 tbsp red wine vinegar.  I had to sprinkle in slightly more flour because my dough seemed too tacky, and you should start with the above measurements and adjust accordingly.  Wrap dough in plastic and let it relax in the fridge for about an hour or overnight.
Yay!  Dough is done!  Time to make some calzones baby!  And thank god cuz I'm hungry!  Wow, I'm actually getting hungry writing this.....

I divided the dough into 4 equal pieces and rolled it out to about 8" diameter and plopped 1/4 of my greens mixture toward the bottom edge like so:
*nice shadow of me taking the picture... doh!
Fold the top edge down to meet the bottom and pinch together decoratively like so:
Obviously this is just me trying to be Miss Fancy-Pants, the easier method is just to bring the top edge down and crimp it with a fork.

After forming them, I put my 'zones on a floured baking sheet while I heated up 1/4" of vegetable oil in a saute pan (same one as before, just wiped clean with a paper towel... yeah, some call it lazy, I call it no dishwasher = use as little cookware as possible.
 Oh look!  Another stupid shadow of me taking the picture...

Cook the calzones in the hot oil about 3min per side, look for golden brown crunchiness.  Clap your hands for some finished Greek Green Calzones!  Yay!

These came out super-tasty but slightly dry on the inside.  Maybe I squoze... squoze? squeezed? hmmm...  squoze out too much water from the greens.  Next time I think I might add some ricotta to the filling for more creaminess since feta doesn't really melt.  Because of the dry-ness, I made a last-minute dipping sauce by microwaving cream cheese (to soften), then adding some light cream, dried dill, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Boyfriend said that the dipping sauce improved the meal tremendously... however, anything with a sauce is a winner in his mind.  The man just loves sauce, what can I say?

The dough was perfection.  I'll be using that dough recipe again and again. We drank beer with this (we were going to play kickball and drink lots o' beer later... just wanted to stay consistent) but a light and fragrant white wine would have been wayyyyy better.

Oh, and the leftovers were not soggy and gross as I predicted... even tasted pretty damn good cold, right out of the fridge.
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