So I have a little secret.
I have a disclosure for this post.
These photos you see here, while they were taken by me, they were totally inspired by Bev. You know Bev, right? You better know Bev because she is kind of awesome… and hilarious… and totally pregnant with two little what I am sure will be adorable twins. Twins that make her talk about diapers and cribs all day long, which in my opinion is the cutest thing ever.
Her posts are most likely going to make your morning, trust me on this one. The girl is a bad ass cook and she’ll make you laugh while doing it too!
Here’s the thing, I have a love hate relationship with food photography.
I love it when the food wants to look good and my camera is acting nice, but when the food just looks plain ugly and my camera decides to freak on me I kind of hate it.
To be honest, I mostly love it, but in no way do I think of myself as a food photographer. Like no way, I am just not there.
So when I am having a hard time shooting a particular food I grab my computer and start googling. I google something similar to the food I am photographing and then pray. Pray that there is a pretty photo to inspire a better way for me to style the day’s food to give it just what I am looking for, even though I may not know what that is yet.
Occasionally I come up totally flat, which sometimes ends up fine. I simply proceed to spend the next hour styling my shoot until it looks right and I love the photos, but I just will not stop until the photos are to my liking. Which can really be a huge time suck, but to me it is worth it. I have come to really appreciate a good photo!
Anyway, these cute little strombolis were giving me a rough time. So I googled and came up with notta, but then I remembered these strombolis and Bev’s gorgeous photos. Thanks God.
Or better yet, thank Bev! Thank you for inspiring these photos!
Ok, disclosure over.
On to the food!
These strombolis are so good.
Caramelized onions people. Yeah, they make everything that much better. They are buttery, sweet and just so good. Plus, they remind me of fall, french onion soup, football and comfort food. Which is a little weird considering I did not grow up with onions at all and only had french onion soup for the first time when I made it a year ago, but now that’s pretty much all my brain thinks about is food, food combos and food seasons. Caramelized onions just scream comfort and fall to me.
Actually, caramelized anything screams fall to me. There has been a whole lot of caramelizing going on over here and it’s so good!
I made these personal size for two reasons.
One, personal anything is always more fun and two, I have never had any luck with a giant stromboli. The filling always spills out and the inside never gets properly cooked. In the end it just turns into one giant lump of cheese. Although, no one complains, they still taste good, but these personal ones are a little easier to work with in my opinion.
Oh and did I mention they are also stuffed with Gouda cheese? Because they are, and it is kind of insane.
Caramelized Onion + BBQ Chicken and Gouda Cheese Strombolis
Yields: 4 large or 8 small Strombolis
- Pizza Dough
- 1 cup warm water (100-105 degrees)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons honey, divided
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 vidalia onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small head broccoli, chopped
- 1 large (or 2 small) cooked chicken breast, chopped or shredded
- 3/4 cup of [your favorite BBQ Sauce | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/homemade-barbecue-sauce-just-like-sweet-baby-rays/], plus more for dipping
- 1 cup shredded gouda cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
To make the dough, in a large bowl, combine water, yeast and honey. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour and olive oil stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work the additional 1/2 cup flour into the dough, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. You can also do all the mixing and kneading in your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.
About 30 minutes before you are ready to roll out your pizza dough start the onions. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the brown sugar and cook, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan frequently, until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove the onions and place on a plate, set aside.
To the same pan add a drizzle of olive oil and the broccoli. Cook about 10 minutes or until the broccoli softens slightly. Remove from the heat.
Add the shredded or chopped chicken to a medium size bowl. Add about half of the bbq sauce and toss the chicken with the sauce.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Now grab the pizza dough and divide it into 4 balls (or 8 smaller balls for appetizer size). On a large floured work surface, roll out each pizza ball until you get about an 8-inch circle (or about a 6 inch circle for the appetizer size). Spread each circle with a little bit of BBQ sauce and then sprinkle with equal amounts of gouda and cheddar cheese. Top with equal amounts of the shredded BBQ chicken and then sprinkle with cilantro and parmesan. Tuck in the two sides of the dough and then roll up into a log, sealing the edges together by pinching the dough with your fingers. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, and continue until all 4 (or 8) are complete.
Brush the tops of the strombolis with the egg wash. Now take a sharp knife and cut about 3 slits in the top of the dough to create steam vents.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 450, then reduce the heat to 375 and bake another 20 to 30 minutes or until the dough is cooked through and golden brown on top.
Serve with BBQ sauce for dipping.
I mean who could not?!