OK, deep breath. I’m attempting to resume daily life and gain a sense of normalcy again (or at least the “new’ normal) since the passing of Louie, one of our sweet dogs, last week.
Thank you to those who reached out with compassion and support. I needed to take some time away from this little space to grieve. And while my grieving is nowhere near done (he took a piece of my heart with him when he passed), I need to channel my energy and focus into something positive.
This weekend was a great distraction. Before Louie passed away, we had planned a Labor Day party with friends and family. A lot of time and effort went into preparing for the party, and I am so glad we chose to have it as planned, despite our crushing grief. It was a lot of fun. It was just what I needed to feel a little bit happy again.
To anyone who has owned a dog (or any pet, for that matter), I know I don’t need to explain to you how much they mean to us, how greatly they impact our lives, and how devastating it is when we lose them. With all the footage of the hurricane Harvey aftermath, my heart goes out to all who have lost a loved one, human or otherwise. It’s just…heartbreaking.
But! Life goes on, and I want to live my best version. Louie, after all, would not want me to be sad.
So, in that vein of thinking, I am pushing on and sharing a recipe I had planned to share with you all last week, before we knew that we had to say goodbye to one of our furry family members.
This right here, folks, is summer weeknight perfection. And with our precious summertime vibes dwindling away, it’s imperative that you all make this happen as soon as possible!
I want to eat this meal every evening for the rest of my life. That’s how good it is.
Crispy dough wrapped around pillowy ricotta, sweet summer corn, juicy tomatoes, and BACON. It’s heaven on freaking earth. The bacon was added to this recipe as sort of an afterthought (I loooooooove corn and bacon together), and now, I can never make these without it. It is so, so key! (at least for my tastes. If you’re vegetarian, obvi you can leave it out).
There is nothing better this time of year than fresh corn and tomatoes – both have hit their peak in these parts, and we are gobbling them up as much as possible before they’re gone. We’ve had corn at almost every meal for the past month.
And I ain’t stopping anytime soon!
Do yourself a favor and make a batch of these calzones tonight. They are simply fabulous.
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 ears of corn, husked and kernels cut from the cobs
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb pizza dough (store bought or homemade)
Flour, for rolling out the dough
Cornmeal, for the dough (optional)
8 oz ricotta cheese
4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
Marinara sauce, for serving
Preheat the oven to 475°F and place a pizza stone in the oven while it heats up (if you don’t have a pizza stone, just skip this part).
In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside to drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
To the bacon drippings, add the shallot and garlic. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes and then add in the corn, red pepper flakes, and pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook for a few minutes and then add in the halved cherry tomatoes and basil. Cook, stirring frequently, for a couple minutes. You want the tomatoes to just warm through, not to completely break down.
Stir in the crisped bacon and remove the pan from the heat so the mixture can cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, place a piece of parchment paper on a pizza peel and sprinkle with cornmeal (if you don’t have a pizza stone/peel, line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle with cornmeal).
Divide the pizza dough into four even pieces and roll out on a floured surface to form circles roughly 6 inches in diameter (alternatively, for larger calzones, divide your dough in half and make two 10-12 inch circles).
Spoon a couple tablespoons of the ricotta on one half of each dough circle. Spoon a couple tablespoons of the corn-tomato filling on top of the ricotta.
Finally, add about 2-3 tablespoons of the grated mozzarella cheese and a grating of parmesan cheese.
Brush the edges of the dough circles with egg wash and carefully and gently fold the dough over on itself to form a crescent/half-moon shape. Pinch together the edges of the dough to seal in the fillings.
Carefully transfer each formed calzone to the prepared pizza peel/baking sheet. Cut a slit in the top of each calzone with a sharp knife and brush each calzone all over with the remaining egg wash.
Transfer the piece of parchment paper with the calzones from the pizza peel to the pizza stone (or simply place the baking sheet in the oven). Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the dough is golden and crisp and the filling is gooey.
Allow to cool slightly before serving with warmed marinara sauce.