Monday, April 27, 2009

Molfettan Calzone

It's been a long time since I posted a recipe, so I thought I'd share this one for calzone, Molfetta-style. I must admit I am a bit intimidated by some of the wonderful recipe blogs out there. My motto continues to be "If It Ain't Easy, I Don't Cook It" so keep in mind this is nothing fancy!

First things first, let's look at making the crust. Although your calzone ends up looking kind of like a pie, the dough is much more bread-like.

1 kilo flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. salt
1 cube of active yeast
warm water

You can mix the dough either on a tabletop, or in a large bowl. Create a small indentation in the middle of the flour and pour in a bit of warm water, then crumble in the yeast. When the yeast has dissolved add the sugar and salt and mix until they dissolve, too. Gradually mix in the flour, adding water as needed to achieve the consistency of dough. It shouldn't stick to your hands, nor should it be so dry that it crumbles. Knead the dough for at least 8 minutes, adding either flour or water, as necessary. Lightly flour the surface of your dough and cut a cross into it. This has religious connotations, "blessed bread" and all, if you prefer an "x" will do the trick just as well, but the cut also serves to allow the dough to rise. At this point, it should look something like the photo below...

Wrap this baby up in a dry cloth, then stick it under the covers in your bed...or in some other warm spot...and let it rise for about an hour and a half. On to the filling:

2 cod
green onions
cherry tomatoes
pitted black olives
grated pecorino or romano cheese

I know you are going to be much of each of these ingredients? And I can only tell you depends! It depends on how you like your calzone. Like so many recipes passed on through the oral tradition, you just have to try and see how it comes out, then make adjustments to suit your taste the next time. In any case, the onions are the key ingredient here, so you probably want about a kilo of them.
Boil the cod until they are firm and white inside. Clean them, discarding all the skin, bones, etc. and set the meat aside.

Chop the onions finely and sauteè them in oil and a dash of milk. The milk creates a much more delicate flavor. Add the finely chopped cherry tomatoes and cook until they are soft and basically have disintegrated (see photo above). Salt to taste.

Mix in the chopped olives, grated cheese, raisins and fish meat. Set aside for now.

When the dough has risen, dig it out from under your bedcovers and punch it down to release excess air. Divide it into four equal parts and roll each part out to slightly larger than your pie tin (or cake pan, if you prefer). Lay one crust on the bottom of your cooking dish, pressing it down so it takes the form of the dish. Fill crust with one half of your filling, then cover with a second crust. Fold the top crust over and under the bottom crust and press together (so the filling won't run out). Repeat for the second calzone.

Bake at 180° Celcius (about 360° F) for 30-40 minutes, or until the crust becomes quite brown.

This is how mine turned out. My husband thought it should have cooked longer, but I thought it was just fine like's often just a matter of opinion when it comes to cooking, don't you think?


Karen said...

That's an attractive calzone! I'm not sure about the cod, though.

Saretta said...

The fish is an essential ingredient in the Molfettan recipe. If you don't like cod you can use canned tuna. Or you can make a "children's version" with tomatoe and mozzarella!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It looks fine to me, too and I'm going to try it!