11-4: Calzone with Seafood

Here’s one from the Fish & Seafood chapter, which I haven’t delved into for awhile. 11-4: Calzone with Seafood sounds rather strange on paper, and was in fact strange in reality. If you’re picturing a pizza-like calzone with tomato sauce…think again.

If you’ve come here from a search engine looking for a good seafood calzone recipe (which apparently a lot of you do), here’s the TL;DR–the crust and overall cooking method are decent on this recipe, but be prepared to come up with your own fillings. Oh, and if you’re wondering what the heck this site is, read this.

They’ll mention later that the dough is really what they want you to get out of this recipe–the filling is a variable. Knowing that now (after I followed their suggestions), I would have definitely made some adjustments.

Notice the lack of seasoning (besides oregano) that accompanies what is essentially onion, cheese, garlic, & shrimp/crab. I would have at least added some red peppers or some more interesting/appropriate spices (like some Old Bay or cajun seasoning).

Ingredients. I went with some crab-in-a-can that I had left over from an aborted attempt at crab turnovers to accompany 9-26: Crispy Beef Turnovers and 13-13: Spinach Turnovers. Someday I’ll make that one and update this with those links.

(7/28/16) EDIT: I finally did make those crab turnovers, and you can read about them here: 1-7: Trader Vic’s Crab Turnovers

Making their dough recipe. I make pizza from scratch once a month or so for work, and I use Serious Eats/Kenji’s NY pizza dough recipe. I let it cold ferment for 2 days in the fridge before I use it, mostly due to fridge space constraints, but even 2 days makes a great pizza dough.

This one isn’t bad, but I let it sit one day in the fridge (not pictured, but due to my shrimp being off and needing to hit the store for replacements) and it definitely rose more than it would have only waiting 30 minutes.

After rolling together–now it sits for 30 minutes with a towel draped over it. Make sure it’s somewhere relatively warm (but not too warm) for it to proof correctly. I happen to like to use the top of my fridge–warm and somewhat kitty-proof.

30 minutes later, after rising and being punched down. You can see it got much bigger just in that short amount of time.

More dough punching. Bread/dough-making is a LOT of upper arm work.

Rolled back up & cut into four with my bench scraper–an awesome tool if you’re going to be doing a lot of dough work.

Rolled out my dough & got them ready to stuff…and realized both my shrimp and onion were unusable (another case of too long between obtaining the ingredients and actually making the recipe). Layered plastic wrap between each of these rounds, stacked them up, and put the stack into a gallon Ziploc bag to hold them in the fridge until the next day so that I could hit the market to restock my supplies.

I sealed the bag, but I should have left about a finger-sized portion of the zipper open so that the air from the rising dough could escape–the bag was fully inflated like a balloon when I pulled them back out the next day.

New onion and shrimp acquired, and the recipe continues. Diced up my onions with a paring knife–but notice: no cooking of these onions other than what happens inside the calzone. I would have at least sautéed or caramelized them.

New, fresh shrimp. I pulled the tails off and cut each of them into about 3 or 4 pieces with my paring knife.

Here’s the stuffing in all its glory–nothing exciting. The brown bits are the can-crab. Again, feel free to get a bit crazier than Simply Delicious here–even a bit of pepper would be welcome.

Stuffing inside the calzone–don’t forget to add the cheese and oregano here like I did and have to open them all back up after sealing them.

One of the calzones I had to open back up and add cheese to. Didn’t detract from anything other than the appearance, but I definitely made them less pretty that way.

After baking–you can see some of the cheese melting out in the lower left hand corner of the picture. These were the best looking two of the bunch, due to my pre-baking-last-minute-cheese-inserting.

Final picture of my calzone–I realize now I neglected to take a picture of the insides. Imagine it looking mostly like the one on Simply Delicious’ recipe picture except more cheesy and bland. We added a fridge sauce to it (fridge sauce is made up of various things in the fridge like barbecue sauce, oyster sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, etc.–whatever’s in the door) and that gave it more flavor, but having flavor baked in would have been 10 times better.

This dough isn’t that bad, but I’d much prefer the Serious Eats recipe I linked above. Make a calzone out of it with better ingredients, and have a much more satisfying meal. And if you came here from a search engine (and got this far), try out some of the other recipes linked here–maybe you’ll find something better than this half-hearted attempt at a seafood calzone.

Grade: C