To celebrate the launch of the Uniform Foodies App in connection with Uniform Dating we were asked to create our own recipe suitable for uniform workers in line with their favourites. Apparently police officers and doctors favour fish and chips; fire fighters and the armed forces opt for an Indian curry and nurses’ first choice is a salad.
Mark is a uniform worker so we have some firsthand experience with long hours, missed breaks and we totally understand the need for a good nutritional meal to keep them going.
As first we wanted to create the curry, and then come the idea of lovely fish and chips but in the end we decided to show off a twist on the salad… we call it a salad in a bun… the real name is a calzone.
Our idea might be a bit out of the box, but we wanted a meal which can be enjoyed hot and cold; something which can be eaten whilst sitting down but if needed you can just grab it and munch it on the way before you reach your destination point; we wanted something which will be suitable for everyone, no matter if you are a vegetarian or not, there is always a filling which will suit your desires. We wanted a recipe which can be prepared in stages to suit your shift work pattern and most importantly it is not taking hours to cook. We thought long and hard and calzones are the best option we could come up with.
For this challenge we picked a healthy filling option of three cheeses, tomatoes, basil and ham (if you are a vegetarian replace the ham with Quorn or just skip the ham part). These ingredients by themselves would make a nice simple salad but if it’s for your main meal of the day it wouldn’t be very filling, so we decided to enclose it in pizza dough thus creating a calzone.
First step the pizza dough
- 250ml of lukewarm water
- 25g of fresh yeast
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 350g- 400g plain strong flour
Place the yeast into a warm bowl and add the water. Stir in the sugar and allow to stand until the yeast has dissolved and starts to foam.
Using a wooden spoon mix in the salt and 1/3 of the flour and stir vigorously. Gradually add another 1/3 of the flour and mix/stir until the dough forms a mass and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Remove the dough from the bowl and begin to knead (remember to sprinkle some flour on your work surface so the dough doesn’t stick). Knead for about 10min adding the remaining flour slowly until the dough is no longer sticky to your hands, after this time your dough should be smooth and elastic.
Now if you want to eat in the near future place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl with some cling-film over the top or a damp teacloth and place somewhere warm till it has at least doubled in size, this will take an hour or two. Mark makes these when he is on nights and places the dough in the fridge before going to bed. When he wakes up the dough is ready for processing into Calzones. This has the additional effect of giving a much richer, tastier dough as it has risen so slowly.
Now as your dough is ready all you need is to create the filling.
- 350g ricotta cheese
- 175g mozzarella cheese
- 4 tbsp of freshly grated parmesan
- 175g ham, cut into small dice
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- Good handful of basil leaves, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for brushing
Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.
Now you have both dough and the filling so let’s make some calzones.
Preheat the oven to 250C.
Prepare a lightly oiled baking sheet.
Punch your dough down and knead it lightly.
Divide it into 4 even portions (or more if you want your calzones to be child friendly size).
Roll each ball into a flat circle about 2-3mm thick.
Place your filling on one half of each circle, leaving around a 2cm border all around.
Fold it over and crimp the edges making sure that it is sealed, just like a pasty.
Place on your baking tray.
Brush the top lightly with olive oil.
Bake in preheated oven for 15-20min or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and ideally cool on the cooling rack, to avoid the “bottoms” getting moist.
It might seem like a long and complicated recipe but it really isn’t. It is fairly straightforward and simple to follow.
I hope that you will enjoy our idea of a salad in a bun 😉
And remember you are not limited to this filling, your imagination is your limit… you can fill it with whatever you like… just remember calzones aren’t baking for very long so do not stuff it full of raw meat, precook it first. As for members of the armed forces and our brave fire fighters you could even make them with the left over curry which you adore, hmm spicy Calzone, I think we may try that one as well!
* I was provided with shopping vouchers to cover the cost of all ingredients.