Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rollin' like a Sicilian

This past Easter we decided to to a full 5 course Italian Dinner, and I had a lot of fun surfing for recipes to include in those 5 courses. While such a thing sounds sort of decadent/elegant to eat, it is quite a commitment to figure what to include so that the flavors do not clash and the diners do not become over full before the end of the meal. While surfing, I stumbled across a dish that sounded like something my father in law, the Sicilian, was trying to describe to my mother in law.  He explained the finished product and his rough understanding of how it was made, but she kept hearing this all as a calzone.After about an hour of debate, he conceded that it was a calzone, but the look on his face said it really was not the same. It was not the fault of either- my mother in law is a Jersey Girl who was not exposed to a lot of the home dishes in Italian Cusine and my father in law is not a cook in any form. He can handle a microwave, but is totally lost when faced with any cooking term or procedure. For some reason the discussion stuck in my head, and lingered for about 15 years. I came across this recipe, and I knew that this was what he was most likely describing, and I had to make them so I could one day soon gift him with a supply. They are delicious, and a lot easier to make than they sound.

Miscateddri - Sicilian Calzone rolls 
( courtesy of someone's grandmother who I forgot to note)

For the starter:
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup lukewarm water

For the dough:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon plus 1/3 cup olive oil

For the  meat filling:
½ lb pound ground pork
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the filling
1 pound spinach, or chard
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Black olives, sliced
2 onions, cubed
4 potatoes cut in small cubes
freshly grated black pepper

To make the starter for the dough, in a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water. Set aside for 10 minutes until frothy.
To make the dough, in a bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and the 1 teaspoon oil. Add the starter and using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms, about 10 minutes. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 2 balls. Place the balls in a bowl, add the 1/3 cup oil, and toss to coat the balls with the oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until almost doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hr.

Prepare the filling. Add salt and pepper to the pork and set aside – this will be used raw.
Cook the onions in Olive oil until soft and golden and potatoes in olive oil until tender. Cook the spinach or chard in olive oil till wilted. Place meat, potatoes, onions, spinach and sliced olives each in a separate bowl.
.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two cookie sheet pans with olive oil or vegetable oil.
On a lightly floured work surface, with a rolling pin roll out a ball of dough into a large rectangle and about 1/5 inch thick (the thinner the dough is spread the better). Take one tablespoon of oil and spread all over the flattened dough.

Sprinkle on ingredients, as if topping a pizza First your meat, then your potatoes, your onions, chard or spinach and the olives.

Now take the edge of the dough and start rolling it with your hands as if rolling a large cigar , start from the right hand side and work your way to the left but be a little careful when rolling it because the dough with the filling becomes a little thin and will tend to tear. When finished twist slightly and squeeze lightly to insure a tight roll. Once you have finished rolling it, cut the roll every 2 to 2-1/2 inches long all the way across. Take each piece in your hand and twist both end into a flattened disc and place in the greased pan about 1-1/2” apart.
Bake the miscateddri until golden,  at 350 approx. 30 minutes. Serve hot or warm. If you make a large quantity you can also freeze them.


Enz said...

My Napoleana Nonna used to make these! I loved them :) Thanks for reminding me.

Di said...

They are really good ! I know someone in my husband's family made these, but I have never been able to find out who. There is a strange kind of disconnect in food history between my husband's generation and that of his grandparents.