Sunday Dinner: Ham and Salami Stromboli

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Stromboli Sunday? Maybe.

There was a chance that I would spend my Sunday at a local gin joint to watch football, swill beer and use foul language. So, as I was looking for a dinner option, I wanted something that could go to together quick and easy on the off-chance that I had been touched by the drink. My plans were postponed, which was just as well. The 90-minute nap I caught was equally as fulfilling as an afternoon at a bar.

Strombolis are essentially calzones with cured meats. I would assume that its name comes from the active volcano off the shore of Sicily, but that seems like a lot of research for me to do. Wikipedia doesn’t have the answer, so it’s probably lost to the food Gods. They are generally found at your local pizza shop next to the calzones. Rectangular pieces of dough loaded with ham, salami, peppers and cheese. Easy enough, right?

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The biggest issue for me with recipes involving pizza dough is my inability to stretch the dough without tearing it. Apparently, I’m just not that gentle. But, I think I found the answer to my problems. I let the dough rise too long. The dough ball I picked up at Wegmans was still frozen at 11 a.m., but was room temperature by 4:30 p.m. It had not risen, which meant that the chances of my mangling it while stretching were lessened. As a result, I got a nice rectangle to work with.

WHAT WORKED: Room temperature but not overly risen dough, as I just mentioned.

WHAT DIDN’T: The eggwash, but only because it got all over the pan and became a pain in the butt to clean.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: She didn’t take much of a breath from eating to say anything.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Oh yeah. Likely next week.

Ham and Salami Stromboli
By Jared Paventi

  • homemade or store-bought pizza dough, 16 to 20 oz. in weight
  • olive oil (garlic-flavored if available)
  • 1/4 lb. deli-sliced Genoa salami
  • 1/4 lb. deli-sliced ham off the bone
  • 3/4 lb. mozzarella cheese (not fresh…go for the stuff in the dairy case), sliced thin
  • 1/4 lb. deli-sliced provolone cheese
  • 1 beaten egg yolk plus a splash of water
  • assorted spices (fennel seed, Italian seasoning, granulated garlic, crushed red pepper)

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Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

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Stretch the pizza dough with your hands until it is as long as your baking sheet and at least half as wide. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and brush it with a pastry brush. Rinse the brush and set it aside as you will use it later.

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Lay the mozzarella over the length of the middle third of the dough. Repeat with the salami, then ham and, finally, the provolone cheese. Fold the first third of the dough over the meat, followed by the other flap of dough. Pinch the ends of the dough shut, then gently flip the stromboli over so the flap is down. Tuck the ends under the stromboli. Brush the exterior with the eggwash, then sprinkle with spices (I used fennel seed and Italian seasoning).

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Bake for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

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