Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Recipe: Lazy Girl's Stromboli Rolls

My mom makes, without a doubt, the world's best stromboli.

We're not Italian (except an incident hundreds of years ago in which a possibly related Crusader relative married an Italian girl, but that doesn't really count), and I grew up eating a lot of German and Irish foods, but this stromboli is one of her specialities.

My brother and I request it for pretty much every birthday, party, Tuesday, and event we can get away with.

But it's pretty labor intensive.

There's rolling out the bread dough, filling it, rolling it up, and baking it, all of which requires quite a bit of prep and a ton of counter space.

I have a tiny kitchen. Really. Anyone who's ever been to my house knows it's pretty small.

And I'm busy.

I have no time and no space.

And I really really really REALLY hate rolling out dough.

So when I get to craving stromboli, I make a super lazy version that takes about 30 minutes start to finish and tastes similar enough to get me through to the next time I can con my mom into making the "real" version for me.

This isn't even a real recipe. No measurements. No "have to" steps. Just lots of cheese.

I love cheese.


This is my life.

Anyway. Here's what you need:

Mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder (NOT Garlic salt!), Italian seasoning, crescent rolls, red sauce (I'm a fan of the Newman's Own Sockarooni, but whatever you have is fine), pepperoni, and black olives. 

Also, Paul Newman was a fox: 

**And a really good guy

Of course, you could add mushrooms, peppers, onions, whatever, or take out the pepperoni, or add whatever kind of meat you wanted. This is just the basics of what I do - in the "real" version, my mom adds ham as well.

I also bake mine on a baking stone (like this one from Pampered Chef). I'm a huge fan of stones versus baking sheets for stuff like this - the cleanup is easier and they get crustier on the outside without burning. 

Lay out the rolls in rectangles. Basically just don't tear them into triangles. You could use any kind of dough here too, I'm just lazy and these are what I had. Put some Italian seasoning on each one.

Next spread some of the sauce on each piece. You want to get the sauce mostly in the middle, since you're going to be rolling these and pinching the sides in. I don't like a ton of sauce, but, again, do what you do!

 Then start the layers. I do cheddar cheese, black olives...

...mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, more mozz, and then a sprinkling of garlic powder and Italian seasoning. 

Then roll them up!

*Naked mole rat crescents. :/

They will gap a little at the top - just pinch the dough together. Same with the ends. 

And then, because you love cheese and want to make it look like there isn't a giant seam running across the top, apply a mozzarella bandage!

Or just be a normal human being and sprinkle some mozz, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning on top. 

I follow the directions on the crescent rolls (375, 12-14 minutes) but usually end up adding a couple of minutes. On the stone, things burn less easily on the bottom, so you basically want to wait until you get the cheese browning at the top and a nice golden color on the rolls. You're not cooking anything really, just heating it up. 

Like so: 

*Also, I did mention that the cups were everywhere in my house.

Let it sit for a couple of minutes, either on the pan or on the plate. If you cut into it immediately you'll just get a runny mess. This is a good time to get a drink, put in the brownies you also made (from the small amount of batter you didn't eat...), or whatever.

Then you get this:

*Perfect cheese tail.

So yeah, these aren't high class, and they certainly aren't fancy, but they're good, filling, and easy. And sometimes that's just all you can do. 

Also, they're good leftover. Which is an even lazier recipe. 

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