Hi, Friends! I ate at a favorite pizza place recently with friends and we all had wonderful Italian Sausage Calzones. This was before the Super Bowl, so I'm still thinking about what I might do for the Super Bowl party. I was thinking of hand-held, bite sized foods, so I thought, I can make baked empanadas with these same ingredients that we all love! So, I found already made empanada discs in the frozen seafood section at Publix, the only place in town I could find them (I didn't check the Mexican supermarkets, that was going to be my next stop). These can be fried, also, but I call myself health conscious by not frying much. Every little bit helps, right?
Then I bought hot Italian sausage. Let me tell you something I learned about sausages. Just because a lot of the sausages you like are in casings, that doesn't mean you have to use it as a link sausage! Cut it out of the casings! That may seem elementary to some of you folks, but if you haven't cooked much, that's a revelation! We learned how to make our own sausages, patties and in casings, in culinary school and they were so fabulous! I will buy a meat grinder one day!
I also made a very, very simple pizza sauce, no cooking required! The pizza sauce recipe calls for fresh herbs. I had fresh rosemary but dried oregano and basil. When using dry herbs and the recipe calls for fresh, use about 1/3 to 1/2 of what the recipe calls for, because dried herbs have a much stronger flavor than fresh herbs. This is where tasting your food as it cooks is important. Start out with the smaller amount and add as needed. You know you can't take it out once it's in there. That especially goes for salt! Let me share these recipes with you!
For the empanadas: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
How easy is that, and they were delicious! Because of time constraints I didn't have time to make these for the upcoming party, but they are on my list of things now that I can do easily and quickly, for a small or a large group!
Another friend told me that Publix sells homemade pizza dough, ready to use, at their deli counter. You can always make your own doughs, but it is nice to have options, especially if you're doing a lot of different dishes for a party! So next time I will use pizza dough, and I will call them mini calzones!
Hope you enjoy the recipe!
Dished With Love, Denise!
A place to share my favorite things...friends and food, dogs, college football, and my inspiration, Sawyer, the most beautiful little girl in the world!