I had a lot of fun!
This is my May entry for Royal Food Joust by the Leftover Queen: Cookie Cutter Fish. Ravioli-size pizza pocket: Applewood Smoked Cheddar, Skim milk mozzarella, spinach, herb and garlic infused San Marzano Tomatoes sauce, hot capicollo, and hot cacciatore in handmade whole wheat pizza dough.
Cookie Cutter Fish almost sounds like a real species of fish. This is ravioli sized pizza pockets made with whole wheat dough and skim milk cheese, striking a delicate balance between flavour and calories. Applewood Smoked Cheddar is chosen to add smoky and sweet aroma to the pizza pocket, I used a mozzarella with low moisture content to create the mouth watering stringy effect of melted cheese. Spinach is my green of choice. I needed the iron, and warmed spinach offers the perfect texture and structure. Egg or, in my case, egg replacer is used in making my whole wheat pizza dough. San Marzano is a type of tomato that is particularly tangy and zesty. They make great sauces. Capicollo and cacciatore are cured ham and sausages, but their spiciness was not noticeable with all the cheeses. It does add a beautiful hickory aroma with a small kick.
Because of the shape of my pizza pocket, the 'fins' cooked way faster than the 'body'. I learned the tomato sauce has to have some moisture (i.e. don't drain the sauce or cook it too long) for the whole 'fish' to cook evenly. Also, adding fresh herbs directly into the pizza pocket created overly pungent flavours, so the herbs were cooked into the sauce first.
They are so cute!
Ingredients: makes 40 little fishes. The ingredients are not set in stone. Basically, just use whatever you would normally put inside a ravioli or calzone. You can also use your own pizza dough recipe instead of mine.
1 cup Spinach (finely minced)
1 cup Mozzarella (finely minced) or 2 cups if grated.
⅓ cup Applewood Smoked Cheddar (finely grated)
3 cup Pizza or Pasta Tomato Sauce or diced tomato
⅓ cup capicollo (finely minced)
½ cup cacciatore (finely minced)
2 Tbsp kalamata olives (pitted and finely minced)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 leaves of basil
2 tsp oregano (leaves only)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cup whole wheat flours
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3.5 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon olive oil
1. In a large bowl, dissolve honey in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
2 Stir the egg and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes.
3. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
4. When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half, making sure one half is slightly bitter than the other one. Form into two tight balls. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.
1. Over low heat, simmer the tomato sauce with garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper for at least 10 minutes or until the sauce has become viscus.
2. Remove from heat and put the mixture in a blender. Blend until all the ingredients are fully blended. Set aside to cool.
3. Mix all the cheese, sausages, spinach, olives in a mixing bowl. Once the sauce has cooled, mix the sauce in with the rest of the ingredient. (We don't want to melt the cheese yet.)
1. Roll the both balls of dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further. Shape does not matter.
2. With a small spoon, scoop a teaspoon amount of the sauce mixture onto the smaller sheet of dough. If you are using a particular cookie cutter, center the sauce inside the cookie cutter. Resist putting too much mixtures!!
3. Once you have positioned all your mixtures. Gently and carefully cover them with the larger piece of dough. With your fingers, mold the dough around the mixtures and press down to seal it. Don't be shy and use some force. Then use your cookie cutter to cut them and place them in a pan. (Optional: feel free to use leftover dough to add patterns onto the pocket)
4. Beat an egg and add a pinch of sugar or honey. Brush the egg mixture onto the pizza pocket.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Bake for 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the size of the pocket) in the preheated oven, until the "fins" are a little browned and golden.