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Blog In I Heart Food

What to do with leftover taco beef and leftover pizza dough... CALZONE

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By Raquel Teixeira
Posted Oct 22, 2009 in Food
Yup, that's how I came up with my latest recipe. It was a couple weeks back after I made those stuffed pasta shells. I had some leftover extra lean ground beef that was cooked in taco seasoning, onions and garlic and then mixed with garlic cream cheese to get a nice creamy texture. I had just a little bit of pizza dough around so I thought what if I tried making a calzone?? It's pretty much like making a pizza - just fold it over. My first go at it came out pretty good but I learned a couple things so that last night's calzones would come out pretty much perfect....other than the shape of them because apparently, I don't understand that a half moon unfolded would be a...*gasp*...full moon. No, I instead cut a rectangle for me and what looks like a strawberry shape for the bf......you know sometimes your mind can only think about certain things at a time, like what ingredients will make this taste great, and then logical things like shapes just go out the window...I dunno). Oh and not to mention the whole time I am trying to create art in my kitchen, there is a ladybug on the ceiling and my cat is going bananas over trying to get it - so that doesn't help with the whole concentrating on shapes. Oh well. She's lucky she's cute.
Kylie trying to get a ladybug on the ceiling
Kylie trying to get a ladybug on the ceiling
Raquel Teixeira
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ANYWHO, so I call this creation the Tex-Mex OR the Mexican Cheeseburger Calzone.
I haven't decided, so you can vote on it and let me know. So it's basically the taco meat I just described and also detailed in an earlier post on the taco shells, AND some tomato sauce, italian seasoning, cheese and if you're like me - hot peppers!
Calzones
Calzones
Raquel Teixeira
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notice the bf's boring calzone next to my much better tasting calzone. :P
A great meal to do with the leftover dough is make mini pizzas which are great for breakfast the next day or lunch if you're not a pig like me in the morning. I love having dinner for breakfast....and oddly enough, when I was a kid I loved having breakfast for dinner...mmm..Denny's. I don't know what it is...rebelling against society and its meal rules I guess.
Mini Pizzas
Mini Pizzas
Raquel Teixeira
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So these are my mini pizzas getting all dressed up for the oven. Same ingredients as the calzones because that's what I had available but obviously you could do whatever you want. It was just a different approach to pizza than using the usual toppings and it tasted grrrrreat (according to Tony the tiger).
Calzone filling
Calzone filling
Raquel Teixeira
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So basically for the calzone put all your "pizza" toppings on one side fold over the other side and pinch down the dough so it doesn't leak and spray with some oil and sprinkle with some Italian seasoning. Oh, and very important - roll your dough super thin, I mean super thin. The first time I made these it was too doughy because I didn't roll it thin enough. Oh, another tip - assemble your calzone on the cooking sheet you will be using. Don't do it on a cutting board like I did the first time and then try to transport it to a cooking sheet, when it's full of filling and really fragile because the dough is still uncooked and super thin...that wasn't pretty.
Mini Mexican/Tex-Mex Cheeseburger Pizza
Mini Mexican/Tex-Mex Cheeseburger Pizza
Raquel Teixeira
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Bake the pizzas and the calzones together for 20-25 mins at 400F - last couple mins on broil but keep a good watch on it. Pizzas might need to come out earlier if your dough is really thin. And don't worry if they ooze a bit...ooze is good, it's our friend. It lets us know that something good is inside that we need to taste.
Oozing Calzone
Oozing Calzone
Raquel Teixeira
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Now, I will admit I made a huge mess in my kitchen because that's what happens when I handle flour... but it was well worth it ~ nothing like a homemade calzone with a beer and sitting down to the latest episode of Top Chef.
Evidence of the flour catastrophe in my kitchen
Evidence of the flour catastrophe in my kitchen
Raquel Teixeira
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PS - that's whole wheat dough! I sneak in nutrients to the bf's diet whenever possible.

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