Friday, June 26, 2009

Mexican Calzones

The other day I listened to a discussion of empanada on "Everyday Food," a program on the Martha Stewart channel on Sirus Radio. The conversation made me hungry. I kept thinking about the awesome empanadas that my friend introduced me to in her neighborhood -- Jackson Heights in Queens.

I briefly considered making empanadas that night for dinner, but decided against it. First off . . . I'm trying to be a little more health conscious these days (read: get back into shape after having a baby) so the I really didn't want to use an entire stick of butter in my dinner. Also, the baby was asleep in the back of the car, so I didn't want to stop at the grocery store to pick up the aforementioned butter.

Instead, thinking about what I had in the house, I decided to make calzones stuffed with a Mexican inspired chicken filling. To up the health quotient, I made a whole-wheat pizza crust. And, since the filling wasn't too saucy on it's own I concocted a guacamole-inspired salad, which further upped the healthy anti by adding plenty of fresh veggies.

Mexican Calzones
(Makes 4 large calzones)

Whole-wheat pizza dough

1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper

Cut chicken into one-inch pieces. In a large pan, sauté chicken in one tablespoon olive oil over high heat. When the chicken is opaque and slightly golden, remove chicken from the pan. Add diced onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic, jalapeño, and chili powder and cook for another few minutes.

Pour in the chicken stock and scrape all of the brown bits with a wooden spoon. When the most of the liquid has evaporated, pour in crushed tomatoes and crushed pepper flakes. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan along with the goat cheese and Parmesan. Stir until the goat cheese has melted. Remove from the heat. Mix in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

Punch down dough and form into four balls. Roll dough into rounds. Place one cup of filling on half of each round. Fold the dough over, crimp the edges to seal, and cut two or three vents into the top. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Serve with guacamole salad.


Anonymous said...

Love your blog--what is the texture of the whole wheat pizza dough like?

Erin said...

The texture is nice. It's chewy but not too thick, and it crisps up nicely. When I use the dough for pizza I roll it out and par bake it before adding the toppings, which helps keep the pizza crispy.

I'm glad you like the blog!