Turkey leftovers…….after a big Thanksgiving dinner, they seem to haunt you for days on end. In the immediate aftermath of the turkey coma sandwiches filled with turkey, stuffing, and gravy are on the menu. Next you might simply reheat the original meal but after that what do you do with your mounds of turkey? In reality, the possibilities are endless.
Right about now, after four full turkey dinners plus an assortment of leftovers, I’m just plain tired of turkey. But I still have a lot of turkey in the refrigerator that needs to be eaten. Last night’s solution was to use the turkey in a way that is decidedly un-Thanksgiving like. There wasn’t any mashed potatoes, bread stuffing, or Brussels spouts on the dinner table. Instead, I put a Mediterranean twist on the turkey and made calzones stuffed with red peppers, lots of gooey cheese, and yes, turkey. The calzone crust is a Williams Sonoma flat bread recipe but the filling is all pantry and refrigerator leftovers. I served it with a marinara dipping sauce but I think the calzones would be especially good accompanied by a roasted red pepper and eggplant avjar.
TURKEY & ROASTED RED PEPPER CALZONES
For the pastry:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a food processor, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt and pulse to blend. Add the warm water and the olive oil and pulse until the dough comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 to 2 minutes to form a smooth ball.
- Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in bulk and is very spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.
- After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, punch it down, and knead it into a smooth cylinder. Reshape the dough into a smooth ball and allow it to sit, covered with a dry kitchen towel, for 10 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough ball into a cylinder that is 10 inches long. Cut into 10 even pieces and roll each piece into a smooth ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
For the filling:
1 cup diced cooked turkey
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup minced green onion
3/4 cup diced roasted red peppers
1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
1 egg, slightly beaten
- Combine the turkey, cheese, green onion, red peppers and thyme in a small bowl and toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough ball into a round that is 5 to 6 inches in diameter and 1/8 of an inch thick.
- Divide the calzone filling evenly on the center of each round and brush the edges of the dough with water.
- Life the edges, stretching and adjusting the dough and compacting the filling, so the edges meet in the center. Firmly crimps the edges and transfer each calzone, seam side down, to the prepared baking sheet.
- Cut a small steam vent into the top of each calzone.
- Place the egg in a small bowl and add 2 teaspoons of water. Brush the egg wash over the top of each calzone.
- Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.
Yields: 10 calzones