Saturday, February 13, 2010
Stuffed Pizza Rolls
I love the Olympics. Seriously, every two years, the games are a highlight of my year. I vividly remember watching the U.S. women’s gymnastics team (aka The Magnificent Seven) power through to victory in Atlanta in 1996. And the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan debacle? Couldn’t stop watching. It should come as no surprise then, that I have been looking forward to these Winter Games with much anticipation. And what better way to relax on a Friday night than with the opening ceremony of the Olympics, a bottle of wine, and some fun finger food?
Stuffed pizza rolls. They just sound delicious don’t they? And they are. They are the perfect finger food to serve as an appetizer at a cocktail party. They also make a filling dinner when paired with something green and healthy. (I made roasted broccoli to go along with ours.) Perhaps the best part of these stuffed pizza rolls is their versatility. You can fill them with pretty much anything. Go the classic pizza route with pepperoni and cheese. Give them a tropical flair with ham and pineapple. Make them vegetarian with any number of cheeses and veggies. You get the idea. For last night’s dinner, I stuffed our pizza rolls with mozzarella cheese, chunks of Italian chicken sausage, mushrooms, and slivers of onions. Next time I want to try filling them with ricotta cheese, spinach, and artichokes… mmm… the possibilities.
You can really make these stuffed pizza rolls as easy or as complicated as you want them to be. To go the quick and easy route, use store-bought pizza dough (the kind in the can or from your local pizzeria), packaged cheese cubes, and pre-cut/sliced fillings that don’t need to be pre-cooked. When I made them last night, I decided to go all out, and I made my own pizza dough using this recipe for fast and easy pizza dough. I also cut my own cheese cubes since it was cheaper to buy a big block of cheese and cut it myself. Finally, I sautéed my sausage, mushrooms, and onions in a little olive oil before I put them in the rolls. I did, however, use store-bought pizza sauce for our dipping sauce. I mean, c’mon, the Games were starting!
Stuffed Pizza Rolls
1 batch pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
Choice of fillings (shredded or cubed cheese, meats, vegetables)
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. Parmesan cheese
Pizza or marinara sauce (for dipping)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 or 10-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
Lightly flour a clean working surface. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 -inch thickness. (If using canned pizza dough, just unroll it to the pre-cut size and shape.)
Cut the dough into long strips, about 2 inches wide.
Cut each strip into squares, about 2 inches across.
Place a small amount of filling in the center of each square (about 1 tablespoon of filling per each square). Make sure any pre-cooked filling has cooled to room temperature before using it.
To form the rolls, pinch together the corners of each square, taking care to keep all of the filling tucked inside.
Place the rolls in the prepared pie plate, working your way from the outside in.
When the pie plate is full, brush olive oil over the top of the rolls, followed by the garlic powder and Parmesan cheese.
** If you have time, let the rolls rest for 10 minutes before baking. This will give the dough a little time to rise, causing the rolls to puff up and fill in any empty spaces between them. If you are in a hurry, go ahead and pop them in the oven right away. They will still be just as tasty.
Bake for 10 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve hot with sauce on the side for dipping.