Or perhaps...a lo-cal calzone?
A lot of you probably knew I was going in this direction with this post. Well, good job, you guessed it!
By far and away, my favorite character in Parks and Recreation is cute, nerdy Ben Wyatt. His dorkiness really shines in every episode, and he's good looking in a weird Sonic the hedgehog kind of way (am I the only person who sees this!?) Quite possibly my favorite episode with him is when Chris goes to visit him during his unemployment. There, Ben reveals his brilliant restaurant plan - the lo-cal calzone...zone.
Teehee. That's all.
There are a lot of funny bits in that episode in general, like Ben's clay-mation movie "Requiem for a Tuesday" and Cones of Dunshire. If you haven't watched Parks and Recreation, I highly recommend you drop everything and head to the nearest computer. Get through the first season (they were still finding their flow, okay?) and then proceed to laugh for the next 5 seasons. And get warm and fuzzy feelings too.
I wasn't actually really into TV in general (and still probably can't say I'm like the biggest TV fanatic) until I graduated IU and had a schedule with absolutely nothing to do except give dorm tours in the morning for a couple hours. I got some real quality time with my Netflix that summer. I watched all Friday Night Lights in 2 and 1/2 weeks, all the seasons of Arrested Development in 2 weeks, and caught up with Breaking Bad in 3. I'm a leeeetle embarrassed to even admit that. But this little blog has no secrets.
Parks and Recreation actually didn't happen for me until after med school, but when I started, I couldn't stop. It was a feverish obsession throughout first semester last year, and I watched almost a whole season in bed during the Snowpocalypse of 2014 (all day. I wish I was kidding). I like to binge when I watch TV. The latest involved House of Cards, which was terrible because each episode is freaking 45 min+ long, talk about a major time suck. But, I loved it. And now I have actual things I should be studying for so the TV has been on hold, but it will probably come back with a vengeance come June. Any recommendations? I'm told Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is pretty good.
But really, calzones guys! Why isn't a bigger and better thing? Portable pizzas! Filled with colorful peppers and slightly spicy sweet from the jalepeno and honey chipotle barbecue sauce. And delightfully cheesy, all wrapped up in a pizza dough that was not only easy to work with, but magically fluffy and whole wheat. Pair it with a salad and you have a pretty solid meal right there. It's also customizable - I kept mine vegetarian because I was too lazy to even buy a rotesserie chicken to shred, but you could easily do that and have some added protein. And instead of 6 larger sized calzones, you could cut the dough into 8 balls and have mini calzones - then you can have 2 for lunch!
BBQ vegetarian calzones
For the whole wheat dough
1 1/8 cups warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil for the bowl
For the calzone filling
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 white onion, diced
1 jalepeno, diced
Olive oil for the pan
Barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Chipotle)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
For the dough
In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and olive oil. Mix and then let it sit for 10 minutes, it should become foamy.
Add the flours and salt, mixing the dough until it comes together. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead until the dough is soft, smooth, and elastic. You may need to add more all purpose flour if the dough seems too sticky, but don't add too much! Form the dough into a ball. Rub the initial bowl with vegetable oil and place the dough into the bowl. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.
Once risen, punch down the dough, then take it out of the bowl and knead it a few times. Separate the dough into 6 pieces, and then roll each piece into a ball and place it on a baking sheet, covered. Let the dough rise for another 10 minutes.
For the calzones
While the dough is rising, add olive oil to a skillet and heat up the oil on medium heat. Add the peppers, onion, jalepenos, and saute until the vegetables soften up. Add the cumin and kosher salt to taste, and saute for another minute. Take the veggies out of the skillet and place them on a plate.
For each calzone, roll out the dough ball into a long oval shape (stretch out the dough, but not too thin or else your calzone will break - I speak from experience!). Spoon a spoonful of barbecue sauce on the dough, then add a few spoonfuls of the peppers mixture on top of the barbecue sauce. Add the cheese on top of the veggies. Take one end of the dough and fold it over the filling. Pinch the edges (or roll them up like I did) so that the filling is encased in the dough. Poke some holes on the top, and repeat this process for the other calzones.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the calzones in the oven and bake for 23 minutes. Serve with a salad, and a dipping sauce!
I'll sign off with this great quote:
Priorities. Have a good week everyone! - Erica
P.S. Speaking of priorities, school is getting a little intense the rest of this month and next, with finals coming up in a week and then boards at the end of May. I definitely don't want to go on a complete hiatus, but I will be posting just once a week rather than twice solely so I can have a little more focus with studying for the next month or so! Thanks for being such great readers - it means so much to have you guys stop by and read the blog. I'll keep working hard - in both school and the kitchen!