After I put Austin to bed I was feeling totally uninspired to cook dinner. I have my weekly menu plan, but I don’t designate the meals/days beforehand, so I usually decide the same day what I will be cooking that night. Also, since Austin doesn’t go to bed until around 8pm, and Andres doesn’t get home from work until 8:30pm, I feel pretty drained by the time dinner rolls around. I had some dough in the fridge from Trader Joes (can’t beat their .99 cent pizza dough…well, unless you make your own), and I was planning to make some sort of pizza. Then, GENIUS struck me! Broccoli and Cheese Pizza Calzone!! We stocked up on some frozen veggies over the weekend since they were running a sale at the store, and why not put them to use?! I had calzone recipe in mind that I made once before, but I pretty much winged this one and it turned out really good. With the approximate cost of just over $5 total, I think this is a win in every aspect.
Phew, that was a lot of pictures. You may wonder who posts 15 pictures for one recipe, but now you know. I am obsessed with my new camera and photos. For me, seeing lots of pictures makes recipes a lot easier. I hate cookbooks with no pictures…what is the point?! Anyway…
Official Recipe: Broccoli and Cheese Braided Calzone
1 ball pizza dough (love Trader Joe’s for this)
2 ten ounce bags frozen broccoli cuts (use fresh if you want…probably 2-3 small bunches)
1.5 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1.5 cups milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs flour and a little extra for dough rolling
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1. Remove dough from fridge and let rest while you begin. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cook broccoli until heated through (if frozen, 3 minutes in the microwave worked for me)
3. In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, melt 2 tbs of butter. Once melted add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Add in 2 tbs flour. Whisk until combined, cook 30 seconds. Add 1.5 cups of milk slowly, whisking while adding. Whisk until combined. Let roux come to a simmer and it should start to thicken up (2-4 minutes). Once slightly thickened, add the extra sharp cheddar cheese, whisking while adding. Add salt and pepper. Once combined, turn heat to low and let cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine broccoli and cheese together (in bowl, saucepan, wherever).
4. Put 1 tbs of flour down on the counter, or wherever you will shape your dough. Kneed dough into a rectangular shape. Flip dough as it becomes sticky and let the flour cover it (to prevent it from sticking to you and the counter). Once you have the dough shaped, put it on top of a greased cookie sheet (baking tray, whatever). **Important** Make sure you put the dough onto the cookie sheet BEFORE you add the ingredients on top. Otherwise it’s practically impossible to move.
5. Put the broccoli mixture down the center of the dough, leaving about 1.5 inches on the sides. Cut the dough on the sides at about 3/4 inch intervals. Don’t cut all the way to the filling.
6. Wrap it up! Start at the bottom and alternating sides, overlap the strips of dough onto the filling in a lattice pattern. You can stretch the pieces to fit all the way over the filling.
7. Make an egg wash (beat egg in shallow bowl). Use brush to brush the egg wash over the calzone.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove and let cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve.