I often look for creative ways to use leftovers before they relegate themselves to the back of the refrigerator. Yes, you can put various meats and veggies in a stromboli … and like it.
But there are two things you need first: dough and sauce.
The secret to a good stromboli, as well as pizza, is picking the right flour to make the dough. Look for “bread flour” at the market. This is denser than “all-purpose flour”, which will make for a more elastic product. This will prove valuable in the end.
And it’s easy to purchase ready-made sauce, but you have everything you need in the pantry to make a quick and easy sauce. Great if you’re out-island.
1 packet instant yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
In a bowl, sprinkle dry yeast over warm water and allow yeast to dissolve for about 5 minutes, or until bubbles start to form.
Add all other ingredients and stir until loose dough begins to form. If the dough is sticky, add a tablespoon of flour. If it sticks to the side of the bowl, add a little water. A stand mixer makes this effortless.
Continue mixing until a firm ball forms, then move to a floured surface and kneed for 8 minutes.
Cut dough in half and form two balls. Place a clean, warm damp tea towel over the balls and let the dough rise for 45-60 minutes.
While the dough is rising, we can make our easy homemade sauce.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbsp dry oregano
2 cups tomato catsup
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté the garlic in olive oil until translucent; do not brown. Add the fresh and dry oregano (they actually taste different) until incorporated.
Add catsup, tomato paste, brown sugar and pepper flakes and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the dough has risen.
Take one ball of dough to a floured surface and flatten into a disk, slowly stretching the dough with your knuckles. Between stretching, lift the dough and let gravity do most of the work until you can mostly cover a 17×11 baking pan.
Place a half cup of the sauce in the middle and spread it evenly to within 2 inches of the edge.
Layer on your choice of veggies and meats and top with 8-10 ounces of cheese blend.
Pull the edges together, pinching, to seal in the contents.
Bake in a 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until slightly browned. Remove from oven, brush lightly with olive oil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Any extra dough will keep up to three months in a ziplock bag in the freezer or can be baked as bread for another meal. Leftover sauce makes a good marinara. Enjoy.
Capt. John Wampler has worked on yachts big and small for more than 25 years. He’s created a repertoire of quick, tasty meals for crew to prepare for themselves to give the chef a break. Contact him through www.yachtaide.com. Comments on this column are welcome at email@example.com.