Sometimes I feed bad that Ryan is my kitchen guinea pig. Most of the time, I think he's spoiled rotten in the food department. Other times, I feel bad for serving yet another salad, or trying out a new quinoa recipe again... He's a really good sport, but sometimes after he's had my "chick food" for dinner, I hear him pour a bowl of cereal in the kitchen only a few hours after. Man needs man food. It's a fact.
Speaking of which, Ryan loves these. He often asks for them when I'm making my grocery list. It's no wonder why... they taste like cheeseburgers (without the lettuce and condiments, of course)! I used to make these all the time when we were both finishing up our undergrads (and for good reason!) First, they're easy to make. Second, they're filling. Third, they're not that pricey - especially if you spread out each package of meat you buy over a few meals.
Whenever we buy meat, (in this case ground beef and bacon), we split each package into 2 meals (so that covers 4 of your 5 weeknight meals, with only 2 packages of meat). We had half the ground beef with spaghetti/half for these calzones, and we're using half the bacon in omelets/half for these calzones, as well. I think it helps the meat go further. Yes, we are a meat-eating family.
These calzones were supposed to be grilled, but since I wasn't using "real pizza dough", I decided to throw them on a corn-meal dusted pizza pan in the oven. It worked out very well - and they came out hot and melty on the inside, and crispy warm on the outside. Instead of going with the traditional half circle shape of calzones... I wanted squares. Also, there's bacon. (insert evil laugh). Your man will thank me.
Bacon Cheeseburger Calzones
1 lb pillsbury refrigerated dough (or homemade pizza dough)
1 T EVOO, plus more for brushing
1/2 lb ground beef
4-6 slices bacon
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 t McCormick Hamburger Seasoning
3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese, we used sharp cheddar
salt and pepper
2 plum tomatoes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pizza pan with a bit of cooking spray.
In a large skillet, thoroughly cook beef until browned, season with hamburger seasoning. Drain and transfer to large bowl.
In the same skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. In the bacon drippings, add the onion and EVOO and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Crumble the bacon into the ground beef.
On a slightly floured surface, roll/spread out dough into however large calzone you want. This recipe with the refrigerated dough makes 2 giant calzones (we eat half for dinner, the other half for lunch the next day). Place half the ground beef mixture on one side of the round/square. Top with half the tomatoes and half the cheese. Fold the other half of the dough over and pinch the edges shut. Brush the calzone with a bit of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil, if you don't watch the Food Network). Transfer to prepared pizza pan (both calzones). Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes (check on yours at about 10 minutes, just to make sure. Cooking time depends on dough you buy, or homemade dough you pre-made). Enjoy!
(Suggested sides - if by some miracle you're not full after eating a half of one: green beans, green salad, fresh fruit, steamed carrots, etc)
*recipe adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine, September 2008 Issue
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