Homemade Calzone From Starter

I make pizzas, calzones, and strombolis relatively often. I try to improve the recipe every time I make it. I will admit, adding sauce to the calzone not only makes the dish messier to make, but it also leaves the bottom crust soggy. However, this calzone is juicy compared to my stromboli recipe. I have to admit I’m torn which is better.

I stuffed my calzone with diced ham and one small/medium onion I pulsed in a food processor. I added the onion raw and it cooked slightly during the process but still have the overwhelming onion flavor. Besides that, using this homemade starter had begun to give everything the sour dough taste I make with it, and it’s not working as efficiently as active dried yeast would work. I also used leftover spaghetti sauce instead of my usual homemade pizza sauce, but I would definitely just use the pizza sauce next time, just because the sauce I used had a cheesy flavor that didn’t compliment the dish. The sour flavor of the bread with the onion and the cheesy flavor in my sauce made this dish very weird to eat. I would recommend using no additional parmasean in this dish, and eliminating the onion if you plan to use this starter, just because it’s so much bitter flavor. If you use normal yeast, ham and onion are a great combination.

  1. Into a bowl, add 1 cup of starter dough, 1 1/2 Tbsp oil, and 2 cups flour. Mix into a dough adding additional water as needed. Then let rest covered about 1 hour, it will only rise slightly. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Punch down dough, remove from bowl, and roll out dough into round about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. It should have a diameter of 16-20 inches.
  3. Spray your baking sheet with non stick spray, if applicable, and place your dough on top.
  4. To make pizza sauce, open a small can (8 oz) of tomato sauce and add 1 Tbsp of garlic powder, 1 1/2 tsp of onion salt, 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning, and 1 Tbsp oregano.
  5. Top dough with tomato sauce, 8 oz of mozzarella, and other toppings over the entire top of the dough. Fold the dough in half and pinch the edges together and rolling them in. Add slits on top with a knife to allow steam to escape. Bake for 20 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Mashed Potato and Ham Casserole

Casseroles are large meals that are designed to feed many people or for leftovers. This casserole is filling and flavorful. If you choose not to add a veggie, you should serve it with a side of veggies. The onion and ham go very well together, and the butter brings new flavor to the mashed potatoes. This meal is heavy, so it’s not as healthy as a salad, but if you need a filling meal this will do. You can also substituted out the ham for whatever meat you have, and you can add other veggies and/ spices to your taste.

  1. Dice up 1 medium onion (about 1 – 1.5 cups), and dice 2-4 slices of ham (about 2 cups). Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Melt in 4 Tbsp butter, add your diced ham and onion and stir regularly. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare instant mashed potatoes as directed on package (microwave or stove top, you may also choose to make homemade). You will need about 4 cups of prepared mashed potatoes.
  3. Place the potatoes, onion, ham, and butter into a 9×11 baking dish. Mix until everything is evenly distributed, pack it down into the pan, and top with shredded cheese (about 3-4 oz). Bake in the oven for 30 minutes uncovered. Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving.

Christmas Leftovers: Ham & Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are a little old fashioned, however it’s an easy meal that only needs the time to cook. This was the best way for us to use up the rest of our ham from Christmas, and it makes enough to serve a whole family.
I used a 2 qt dish and it was a little too full. I also used only 3 Tbsp of flour, but it would be better to use at least 4 Tbsp and waited for the sauce to get thicker before pouring it over the sliced ham and potatoes.

  1. Slice up 6 medium sized potatoes (peeled or not), and slice up one small onion (1/2 cup). Cube up the ham into 1/2″ by 1/2″ cubes. Cut about 3 cups worth.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Layer the potatoes and ham in a 3 qt casserole dish. And in a 2 qt sauce pan, melt 4 Tbsp of butter and cook your onions til translucent.
  3. Then add 2 1/2 cups of milk, and 4 tbsp of flour. Slowly raise to a boil and cook to your desired thickness (at least an opaque sauce).
  4. Carefully pour over ham and potatoes in casserole dish. Cover and bake covered for 60 minutes. Uncover and bake another 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Christmas Leftovers: Ham, and Mac and Cheese

Mac & Cheese is another one of my favorite childhood foods. It is cheesy and packed with carbs. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water! My mom made a roux based sauce, that is butter and flour, then we add milk and an entire block (8 oz) of cubed white sharp cheese. The recipe below is enough for pretty much just me and my husband since I love it so much, however there is enough in the recipe to serve another person if it is paired with a protein and a veggie.
Also, some cheese brands don’t melt as evenly as others, so if your cheese tastes a bit gritty once it’s cooked, you should probably use a different brand next time. I usually use Aldi’s brand, cracker barrel brand, or Kraft. We have had Cabot work out sometimes while other times it is gritty, and Helluvagood always comes out gritty.

  1. Cook 1 1/2 cup of macaroni to al dente and drain.
  2. While that is cooking, preheat oven to 375 F. Dice 1 small onion (1/2 cup) and cook in 4 Tbsp of butter until translucent.
  3. Once onions are translucent, add 4 Tbsp of flour stir, then add 2 cups of milk. Heat to a slight simmer.
  4. While that is heating, cube one block of cheese (8 oz) by cutting the block in half the short way, then slicing into slices 1/4 inch thick. Once milk is simmering, remove milk from heat and immediately add cheese and start stirring until all cheese is melted.
  5. Place drained macaroni into a 2 quart size or bigger backing/casserole dish. Then pour the hot cheese over top and carefully stir.
  6. Bake your mac & cheese for 30 minutes until the top has begun to brown and is bubbling hot.
  7. With only 10 minutes left, slice ham and fry in a frying pan with 1 Tbsp butter. Serve together.

Christmas Leftovers: Ham Salad

Ham salad has been one of the foods that my mom has had since she was a little girl. This was the recipe her mom and grandmother used during the great depression to make ham last a few extra meals. For this recipe, they would use their own recipe for Thousand Island pickles, however, you can also use sweet relish or sweet pickles to accomplish the same task, however I canned some Thousand Island pickles this summer, so I’ll be using those. You will also see that I am using toast. I always freeze my bread since it’s just me and my husband and we don’t want to waste food, and toasting tends to work really well in cooking/heating up the bread again.

  1. Cut ham into cubes. Approx. 4 slices cut into 1″ x 1″ cubes (1 1/2 cup)
  2. Place these into a chopper, blender, or meat grinder. For chopper/blender, pulse until all of the ham takes on the small pebbly texture, or until you’ve chopped all of the cubes.
  3. Take sweet pickles (1/2 cup) and process into a relish.
  4. Finally, Mix Ham (1 1/2 cup), Relish (1/2 cup), and Mayo (1 cup). Chill or serve immediately on bread or toast.

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