No. 102: Pillsbury Mini Calzones

I have had a can of Pillsbury Grands! Jr. biscuits in my fridge for a month. I purchased quick biscuits as an option for feeding guests, but then of course, never made them.

Every time I open my lower fridge drawer, there is that can. Waiting. Asking, "What are you going to do with me?"

So I decided to try a bit of an experiment with these little biscuits.

Pizza Calzones

For better or worse, what follows is an original (gasp!) recipe made out of what I had in my kitchen. Pillsbury also has a bunch of tried and true ideas for how to use their products on their site.

Ingredients

1 can refrigerated Grands! Jr. biscuits
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 can (14 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Sliced turkey pepperoni
1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese

To make

Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place oil and garlic in a medium sized saucepan and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, orgegano, basil and parsley and simmer until reduced to a thick sauce, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Reducing

Meanwhile, unroll biscut dough onto a very lightly floured cutting board. Roll each biscuit out into thin rounds.

Spread marinara/pizza sauce on a round, spreading to within a 1/2 inch of edge. Sprinkle with cheese and top with slices of pepperoni.

Place another round directly over filling; firmly press edges with fork to seal.

Sealed

(My 'rounds' were more like big ovals, but you get the picture.)

Sprinkle each mini calzone with 1/4 teaspoon grated cheese. With fork, prick top of each to allow steam to escape.

Bake 12 minutes or until deep golden brown. Serve warm.

Cook's note: Keep the leftover sauce. Use it for pasta the next night, as a base for a great soup/stew, or to make another more adult pizza creation while the kiddos eat these savory calzones.

The results

I've made calzones from pizza dough before, but what was surprisingly wonderful about using biscuits was how they rise. They inflate and puff up to create a flaky, buttery wrapping for the pizza filling. The rising effect also keeps the seal around the edges nice and tight.

Final

(They looked like little mushroom shaped calzones.)

With a side of greens, this made a really easy weeknight dinner. While not exactly healthy stuff, it satisfied the inner kid in us. Mr. McCormick was definitely a fan.

And if you're not a biscuit kind of person, crescent rolls would work well for pizza pockets. One of my favorite sites for food inspiration, The Rose Record, featured a similar idea this week.

Here's to more experimentation in the kitchen this week. Happy Friday!

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Send me your thoughts, comments and ideas at theresolvedcook@gmail.com