Taco Calzones

Once in a while, we like to wait until the very last minute to go grocery shopping. Usually we do this whenever we’ve recently had a holiday or are moving or just trying to save a few extra pennies. This week is one of those times, as we are stretching out our food stash until we go to Mexico at the end of the month. We don’t really see a point in going shopping when we have random food in our pantry, just waiting to be eaten. With it being “crunch time” essentially, we’re starting to get down to the food we never eat. Random pastas, soup, cans of beans.

This is how the taco calzone was born. I’ve made plenty of calzones (in college I worked at a campus pizza shop ;-)), so the art of rolling the dough and assembling ingredients isn’t really a mystery to me. I happened to have a dry mix for pizza crust, and just enough tasty ingredients to throw the whole thing together. I’d say the only thing I was truly missing was tomatoes, but to be honest I never quite liked heated tomatoes to begin with.

I started with basic ingredients:

  • Salsa
  • Cheese
  • Refried beans
  • Pasta sauce (random ingredient)
  • Black beans
  • Black olives
  • Ground beef
  • Seasonings (Wild Tree Adobo, Cumin, Pepper)
  • Taco Dip (equal parts cream cheese + taco seasoning + sour cream)
  • Pizza crust dry mix

Then I did all the fun stuff. Browning the meat, adding the seasoning, making the dough, yada yada. Then there was the fun part. Making the sauce, and actually wrapping the calzones.

Making the sauce

To make the sauce, I combined the taco dip, salsa, refried beans and spices. I made wayyy too much, so if you’re going to make this sauce (which could ultimately work as a dipping sauce for things like nuggets or chips), you might want to exercise caution when combining ingredient amounts. A cup total of the sauce would have worked perfectly, but I made ~3 cups. Bad Poppy!

Rolling the calzones

So this is pretty much where I screwed up royally. The dough was STICKY. I added ~2 cups of flower to the dough, and still it was almost unmanageable. I had a really hard time working with it, so when it came time to rolling the ingredients up into the dough, I encountered a major snafu. The first calzone packaged up quite nicely, but the second calzone started tearing, and ingredients spilled everywhere. It was starting to be a disaster. I once read somewhere that if you’re working with dough, to keep a little pile of extra dough for “touch ups”. I am so glad I did this, because I used the excess dough to mend the rips and tears that were surfacing. All in all, the calzone turned out more like a ball-shaped loaf, which I guess wasn’t too terrible after all!

Yeah, dough should not look like a baked potato. N’uff said.

After all was said and done, the calzones actually turned out pretty great. I was pleasantly surprised!

And the end result, topped with salsa and extra taco dip sauce:

And the obligatory “Happy Husband Eating” photo. Enjoy!

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