Friday, August 1, 2014

A Calzone By Another Name.

Now growing up in an Italian neighborhood, in Brooklyn, New York, I certainly know my Italian food items, especially when it comes from a pizzeria.  Therefore, I know what a Calzone is and what it normally consists of; anything else is simply another name.  Just because you take some dough, wrap it around a bunch of ingredients; doesn't make it an authentic calzone.  Take, for example, the Croatia dish, Burek, which consists mainly of meats and some vegetables; this is a meat pie, not a calzone.

Now in town we have two "pizzerias"; remember, I'm a pizza snob, so that is why I've put pizzeria in quotes for them.  Wagon Wheel Pizza has a menu item called a "turnover" made with pizza dough, consisting of meats, vegetables or a combination and very little cheese. Thankfully they have the sense not to call it a calzone. The other place, Thatzza Pizza has a menu item called a calzone which I have not personally tried. However, I know people who have and they have said in certainty that what Thatzza Pizza calls a calzone is, in reality, simply a meat pie.

The recipe I'm posting today is called "Italian Flag Meat Pie".  The "Italian Flag" part of the name refers to the ingredients being of the colors of the Italian Flag: green, white and red.  Roast beef is the meat ingredient and the cheeses used are Goat and Provolone.  Since I'm not using the traditional pizzeria combination of Ricotta, Mozzarella and Provolone, well there you go, it's not a calzone, it's a meat pie.  One other change, not using pizza dough, but pie crust; flakier, crispier and sweeter dough than pizza style.

Italian Flag Meat Pies


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup each of diced onions, red bell peppers and mushrooms
1 cup each of diced tomatoes and steamed asparagus
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp Italian herbal mix
1 tsp salt
1 lb. cooked meat or poultry (diced steak, ground beef, shredded chicken, diced pork, etc)
4 oz crumbled goat cheese
4 ready-made pie crusts, room temperature and cut in half
8 slices provolone cheese
2 eggs
2 Tbsp water


Heat oil, on medium-high heat, in large skillet; sauté onions, peppers and mushrooms for 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, asparagus, garlic, herbal mix and salt; cook another 2 minutes.  Add meat and goat cheese; mix thoroughly and turn off heat.


Preheat oven to 450F; spray baking sheet with nonstick baking spray.


Sprinkle flour on board, place half of a pie crust on top; place one slice of provolone cheese in center of one side of crust. Center a half to 3/4 cup of mixture from skillet on top of cheese.  Dab water along edges of crust, fold one side over filling and press edges together.  Roll dough up along edges to further seal; cut a small slit in center of each pie; place on baking sheet.


Beat eggs with 2 tablespoons water and brush all over pies; bake for 15 - 20 minutes; until pies are golden brown.

Makes 8 pies.

Mary Cokenour

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