Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fried Pizza. Oh Yes, I Did.

Lest you think I'm only into healthy, cultured food around here, allow me to present this:

fried calzone, fried pizza
Serve with a nice veggie salad to assuage some of the guilt.

There might be a law against it, taking a perfectly good homemade calzone and dunking it in boiling oil.  Oh well, I've always been a bender of rules and a questioner of authority.  Besides, something this yummy is a guaranteed "Get Out of Jail Free" card.

fried calzones, fried pizza
This ain't your ordinary pizza roll.

These are not complicated, but they are time consuming and oh, so worth it.  Use any of your favorite pizza toppings. The one in the picture is filled with shredded mozzarella, sauteed mushrooms, and chunks of smoked sausage, with just enough homemade pizza sauce to hold it all together.  I also made some without the mushrooms, and some that were just cheese and sauce.  Everybody walked away happy -- and full.

Deep Fried Pizza (Fried Calzones)

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 ounces diced mushrooms (your favorite), sauteed in a little butter
8 ounces smoked sausage, diced
12 or 16 ounce jar pizza sauce (or make this one from my old blog.) Use the leftovers for a dipping sauce.
1 recipe No-Rise Pizza Crust  (see recipe below)
Oil for deep frying (I prefer peanut oil)

Combine cheese, mushrooms and smoked sausage in a medium bowl.  Add just enough pizza sauce to moisten ingredients so they will hold together.  Set aside.

Mix up one recipe of No-Rise Pizza Crust (recipe below).  You will be working with this dough long enough that it WILL rise, but that's what you want to happen.

If using an electric deep fryer, begin heating oil now.  Heat to 375°F.  If using a Dutch oven on the stove, wait until after calzones are filled to beginning heating oil.

Divide dough into 16 equal portions.  Keep pieces of dough covered with a damp cloth or paper towel until ready to use.

Roll each piece into a circle about 6 inches in diameter, or into an oval or rectangle about 4 inches wide and 8 inches long.  Making different shapes can help you distinguish one type of filling from another.

Spoon abought 1/4 cup filling onto dough.  Moisten edges of dough with water, fold crust over, then pinch together to seal.  Do NOT cut any vents in calzones.

When oil has reached 375°F, carefully fry the calzones in oil, one or two at a time, until calzone floats and turns deep golden brown.  Drain on absorbent paper or cloth.  Repeat until all calzones have been fried.

Makes approximately 8 servings of 2 calzones each.

No-Rise Pizza Crust

3 cups flour (I used a 50/50 mix of white and whole wheat)
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup warm water

Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt in large mixing bowl.  Add oil and water.  Mix, using  wooden spoon or your hand, until a stiff dough forms.  Add additional water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, if needed to get dough to form a ball.  Let sit 5 minutes.  Shape into one deep dish pizza crust or 2 thin pizza crusts in a pan or on a pizza stone.  Perforate crust(s) several times with a fork.  Pre-bake at 400°F for about 5 minutes or until dough just barely begins to form a crust.  Remove from oven and top with your favorite pizza toppings.  Return to oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese has melted and browned and crust is golden on bottom.
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