I ate nearly the entire pot, by myself and in (near) total darkness. (Let’s be honest, if I were to eat anything in (total) total darkness I would repeatedly miss my mouth, incessantly impaling my face with the fork thus resulting in obvious tragic consequences. ‘Tis NOT the season for an unscheduled blood transfusion.) ‘Tis the season for naked hedonism and my bold and self-indulgent attack on the largess of last night’s ramen chili made for an interesting 18 mile run this morning. Glossing over the glitziest details, I’ll say this- I’m tired and I owe the Involuntary Taste Panel something delicious, something magical, something…. Stromboli.
Incidentally, has anyone else argued with his/her spouse about the vagaries of ‘particular’ and ‘peculiar’? (Perhaps in the context of public restroom usage or regarding the nuances of automobile parking?) It is not a ‘to-MAY-toe’ ‘to-MAH-toe’ thing, trust me. There is a clear threshold that must be crossed from ‘particular’ to reach ‘peculiar’. Mrs. Chili365 has long ago and with nary-a-heed, waltzed way, way, way over this line. Thankfully, I am particularly normal.
The most magical, wonderful Strombolis come from Pizza King in Evansville, Indiana. I live nowhere near there and it will take at least 2 days to ship them here. I will have to muddle through in my own chili way.
1 lb ground beef
6 oz mushrooms, diced
1 C diced white onion
½ C marinara sauce
1 T chili powder
1 t red pepper flakes
2 envelopes of Betty Crocker Pizza Crust, rehydrated with water as per package directions.
1 C mozzarella cheese
- Fry ground beef, breaking it into small bits as you go.
- Drain fat.
- Add mushroom, onion, marinara, chili powder, and pepper flakes.
- Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Allow the chili meat mix to cool a bit.
- While meat cools, roll out the dough (which you had prepared according to Betty’s helpful directions) on a floured board.
- Divide flour in two.
- To each half, add chili meat mix to the bottom potion. (You’ll be folding the unadorned portion over the meat to make a pasty. Dig?) *If you have meat that won’t fit, no worries, eat this dividend from a bowl.
- Top each mound-o-meat with ½ C mozzarella cheese.
- Fold the ‘top’ over the meat mix.
- Pinch the edges together and, if you have a precocious 9-year old daughter, have her take a fork and make fanciness on the edge. Boom.
- Bake for 40 minutes at 350F.
The kitchen smelled completely amazing as these baked. We could hardly wait for the chili strombolis to exit the oven. When the time finally arrived and we able to dig in, we weren’t disappointed. Spicy, oniony, and flaky, much like my girlfriend from back in junior high. (Hi Wendy). My son, Pre, who lately had been absolutely voracious in his chili abstinence, totally attacked this chili. In truth, the chili turned out far better than I had expected. The difficulty with a dish like this is keeping the crust crispy. I was able to do two things correctly in this instance. The first was keeping the amount of sauce relatively low so as to keep things from becoming too soggy. Second, it was important to keep the baking temperature low to facilitate an even baking of the top and bottom crust. I am particular (not peculiar) about my strombolis. Today it paid off in spades.