Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Date Night Dinner: Spinach and Caramelized Onion Calzones

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Remember that man that I live with?  He has a small obsession with calzones.  I think it's because we have pizza every Friday - sometimes he just really wants a change!  And when he wants something, he usually gets it.  That's because, it goes a little something like this "do you want to have calzones this week?"  I say, "no John, we have no ingredients for calzones - no ricotta cheese, and no toppings."

"Oh", John slinks back to his corner, licking his wounds.  A few days later while I'm planning the menu for the week, "what about calzones, they could be healthy!" (my magic word, "healthy").  I ignore him.  Then, a day later when we're going out to dinner - what about going to the pizza place down the street for calzones?  By this point, I know there is no ignoring him.  

So, when he has class, I go to the store and make him delicious calzones.  Because I am a softy, he is cute, and it's almost his birthday.  Trifecta right there!  Plus, with the spinach, it's good for you right?!  So after John took his midterm he came home to some yummy calzones; if that doesn't make me a great girlfriend, well, what else can I say?

Spinach and Caramelized Onion Calzones
Serves:  4
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons oil
1 onion, sliced
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup marinara sauce, warmed

First, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Put the dry ingredients in a food processor and process once until combined (we use the metal blade, not a bread attachment).  Then, start the food processor and slowly pour in the yeast mixture.  Let the dough work approximately 45 seconds to one minute, until the dough forms into a ball.  Let sit 15 minutes.

In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion slices and cook 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until caramelized.  Add spinach and continue cook until wilted.  Let cool slightly.  In a large bowl, add ricotta cheese, egg, mozzarella, garlic powder, and spinach mixture. 

Split the dough into 4 pieces.  Roll each into a circle and evenly distribute the ricotta mixture on one half of each circle.  Working individually, cover the ricotta mixture with the other half of the dough, pressing the crust together.  Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Place the calzones about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Bake for 30 minutes, until crust is golden brown.  Serve with marinara sauce. 

Alternatively, after about 15 minutes of baking, remove from the oven, let cool and store in the freezer for up to 1 month.  To reheat, let thaw and cook an additional 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.  

Until the next time is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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