Holy Stromboli! Sorry, I had to because it was there for the taking. I can never help myself with the cheesy word play!
One of my favorite sandwiches in the world is prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and roasted red peppers, or in Jersey Italian – prah-joot, mootz-ar-ell, and peppuhs. When I was perusing through my assigned blog, Paulchen’s Blog?!, for this month’s Secret Recipe Club..I struck stromboli, and the first thing I thought of was how perfect one of my favorite sandwiches in the world would be wrapped up and baked as a stromboli. I kept wavering back and forth between the stromboli and some luscious looking butterscotch brownies, because next to being a peanut butter freak, I’m a pretty heavy butterscotch user too.
In the end, I couldn’t stop thinking how well melty and gooey would work for my favorite sandwich combination in a stromboli, so that was it, decision made. BUT, as I thought it over, I wanted more cheese, another cheese like provolone, and definitely something green and garlicky to cut into all that rich, gooey cheese. Oh, and why not top it with yet another cheese? Asiago, perhaps? OK, now we’ve got three cheeses, roasted red peppers and prosciutto. This was going to be one heck of a stromboli!
But what about the green stuff?
Yes, I’m taking you through my actual ‘green stuff in stromboli’ thought process at the time.
I pondered it for a bit, and then it came to me…broccoli rabe, also known as rapini and broccoli raab. The slightly bitter and earthy undertones would be ideal, especially when sauteed in a little garlic and oil. I added some hot chili flakes to give it a kick, but that’s optional since some don’t like food that makes their tongue burn and nose sweat.
Now, I don’t want you to confuse broccoli rabe with broccoli because they are nothing alike. Broccoli is related to the cabbage family, whereas Broccoli Rabe is related to the turnip family. Broccoli rabe is a leafy green with buds that resemble tiny heads of broccoli, hence the name broccoli rabe. BUT, plain old garlicky broccoli (or broccolini; a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lin, which is also known as Chinese broccoli) also work well, and is just as fantastic in this stromboli. So if you’d rather not charter unfamiliar green territory, substitute broccoli or broccolini for the broccoli rabe.
I’m submitting this stromboli to this month’s #TwelveLoaves theme – cheese, hosted by Lora of Cake Duchess, and Yeastspotting hosted by Susan of Wild Yeast. I’m also going to submit this to Shelley’s BBD #53 -Swirly breads.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a melty, drippy, gooey cheesy photo of this stromboli because it was way too hot to handle (the encapsulated heat burned my fingers when I tried) and I was by myself when I made and photographed it, so no extra hands on hand to help me do that. But you should have seen all the cheesy goo dripping with each slice when I first cut it open gently, on the cutting board. It was almost seductive, especially when it started to drip/stretch to the floor when I haphazardly picked up a slice! Man, I wish I could have gotten a photo of that!
Finally, there used to be a long story in this post, you know, the BBFL story. This is why there are so many photos below with no text in between. But..
I’m too lazy to write anything to break them up; and 2) For some reason I can’t bring myself to take them down, even though they’re less than stellar. Forgive me, kind souls.
Scratch all of the above; I’ll write something. I’m good at rambling, as you all know.
I highly recommend you make this stromboli because every man in your life will worship your stromboli prowess, and most women will put their diet or healthy eating regime on pause just to sink their teeth into it. If you have kids or nieces and nephews, or just kids in your neighborhood, they will love this stromboli too, even the garlicky green stuff!
After all of the above occurs, they will beg you to make this stromboli again the next time they see you. Seriously.
You will forever be known for your amazing stromboli, so much so that they may even name a street after you. They did in the next town over. Lisa Street. Okay, it’s been Lisa Street since like forever, but you know, no harm in pretending. In the town I grew up in, we used to cruise with some upperclassmen guys to steal street signs for our bedrooms. We always managed to find everyone’s name but mine. Lisa is the most common name in the world – WTH?
It figures that there’s one in the town next to me, but I no longer have the desire to hang one in my bedroom next to my framed ‘New Yorker’ poster and baby blue walls smothered with posters of my favorite rock stars, because 1) I no longer live in that bedroom, 2) I guess I grew up (sort of), and 3) a “Lisa Street” sign would’t go with my rustic, modern motif.
Having said all that…
If your life’s purpose is to feed people, like mine is, you will love it when some people kiss you on both cheeks and tell you that this stromboli was bettah than their mothas. The accent demonstrated only applies if you live in New York, New Jersey, or Boston. Anywhere else, fill in the appropriate accent..like “This stromboli is better than my Momma’s, ya’ll!” or “This stromboli is a treat better than my Mum’s!”
Okay, I’m done. I’ve run out of things to say to fill up all the in-between photo space left by the trillion word Bad Boy First Love story that used to grace this page. Enjoy!
If you like a more saucy stromboli, you can add a layer of your favorite tomato or marinara sauce before the first layer of cheese.
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1¼ cups water
- 3½ cups unbleached flour
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bunch of broccoli rabe washed and woody stems removed (If you don't like broccoli rabe, use broccoli or broccolini instead, blanching it first, then sauteeing in garlic and oil per directions.)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- hot chili flakes (optional)
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 or 3 large red bell peppers, roasted seeded, and peeled - each one sliced flat into 3 or 4 pieces, then blotted dry
- 12 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 8 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
- 8 oz thinly sliced provolone cheese
- Olive oil
- Asiago or any Italian hard cheese *
- Make the dough. Sprinkle yeast into 1 cup of tepid water in a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes until foamy.
- Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in center and pour in dissolved yeast and the oil. Mix in flour from sides of well. Stir in reserved water, as needed, to form a soft, sticky dough.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, silky, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a clean, oiled bowl and cover with clean kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.
- While dough is rising..roast your peppers and prepare the broccoli rabe. Bring a pot with about 1 quart of water, salted, to a boil and have ready a large bowl of ice water. Cut the cleaned and trimmed bunch of broccoli rabe in half, then boil in the salted water for about 3 to 4 minutes. Strain and drop the broccoli rabe into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Strain again and blot dry. Heat the tablespoon of olive in a saute pan. Add the minced garlic and saute until soft but not browned. Add broccoli rabe a little at a time until wilted. Saute, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste, plus your desired amount of hot chili flakes, if using. Remove the broccoli rabe from the pan to a plate to cool.
- Punch down the risen dough and place it on a floured board. Cover and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes to relax the gluten. Roll the rested dough into a 14" x 8" rectangle. Cover with a clean towel and let rest another 10 minutes.
- Spread the mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, roasted red peppers (sprinkle roasted red peppers with kosher salt and pepper), provolone cheese, and broccoli rabe evenly over dough, layer by layer in the order listed. Roll up the dough, starting at one of the shorter sides, but without rolling too tightly. Seal all ends well, pinching the dough together.
- Place on a baking sheer lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Use a skewer or knife to pierce several holes through the dough all the way down to the baking sheet but not all the way through. Brush loaf with olive oil, then top with peels of asiago cheese (or any hard Italian cheese you prefer).
- Bake at 400 degrees F for about an hour until golden brown. Let rest a few minutes before slicing.
If you get a chance, pop on over to Paulchen’s Blog?! and check out all of her delicious goodies! To see what my fellow Group A SRC members chose from their assigned blogs, click on the blue frog below to see the gallery of links.