Friday, March 27, 2015

Apéritif Friday - Paleo Stuffed Poblanos and the Springtime Cocktail

Earlier this week, I insisted that winter is over, and I would hereby embrace the open toed shoe.
Today I wear boots...AGAIN...thanks to the inch of SNOW falling from the sky this morning. I love winter weather when I can fully embrace it, but those days for 2015 have come to an end. It's time for tulips, sunshine and grilled food.

If I can't be outside sipping my cocktail, then I'll bring it inside, close my eyes, inhale and pretend. In my fluffy, soft cardigan and tall boots.

Mother Nature, Imma Mollywop You! That's teenager ghetto speak for I'm going to kick your a$$! But to fuel my gumption, first I'll have one of these pretty babies. I call it...
Springtime. How can I not? The Easter Egg colors move my spirit even if the wind howling outside so obstinately contradicts my heart's desire. And yes - that's an egg in the above photo. Don't fear the ingredients in this one - I assure you an egg white is safe and a critical ingredient for the consistency and texture to this gem. If you're completely against eggs in cocktails, read this post, then this one for some reassurance. I purchase our eggs from a local farm, and each one is individually washed in an all-natural enzyme cleanser, so I fear not. I say go for it! Adding the egg white really transforms the drink. It's light, bright and balanced...the Grenadine and honey simple syrup balance the acidity of the lime and the sharpness of the gin. And it's so very pretty to look at on a frigid day. If I can't see pink tulips, green grass and yellow daffodils out my window, I'll just peer down into my cocktail glass.
In embracing the theme of indoor everything, here's a tasty appetizer that's hearty enough to double as a main course if you eat two. These made an appearance on girl's weekend, and I've yet to find a girlfriend, teenager or husband who doesn't like them.
Or a dogger. Miller went a little bonkers on Stuffed Poblano Pepper night. Since I purposefully made extra filling for breakfast, I gave the old boy a little taste. How can I resist the peek around the corner?
He smacked his lips over and over. He certainly sensed the spice in this, but it didn't stop him from licking his little treat bowl clean. And asking for seconds.
While assembling these puppies though, it is tricky to stop the people from sampling. Which is OK, because the mix makes twice the amount you'll need, unless you buy extra poblanos for stuffing. This is an incredible base for your over-medium fried egg the next morning.
Here's to what hopefully will be the last indoor cooking night of the year. Good Riddance, Winter that won't leave!

Springtime
4-5 Ice Cubes
Juice of 1 lime
1 dash Grenadine
1 egg white
3 measures Gin
1/2 measure (or to taste) Honey Simple Syrup (Equal parts Honey and hot water, blended)

Put the ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Add the remaining ingredients and shake vigorously until a froth forms. Pour into a chilled cocktail or martini glass. Microplane some lemon and lime zest over the top.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Makes enough filling to stuff six halved poblano peppers, or three with leftovers for breakfast
1 lb Ground Beef
1 lb Ground Pork
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup purple cabbage, chopped
1 stalk of curly kale, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup jarred salsa
3 poblano peppers
1/2 cup Gruyere or Asiago cheese (feel free to omit if you don't eat dairy)
6 slices bacon

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a cast iron skillet, brown the meats over medium to medium-high heat with 2 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp cracked black pepper. Add the carrot, onion and green pepper, stir to combine and turn the heat down to medium to medium-low. Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes, then add the purple cabbage, kale, garlic, cilantro, cumin and salsa. Continue cooking on low for 10 minutes so the flavors can meld. Taste the filling and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

While the filling simmers, prepare the poblano peppers by cutting them in half lengthwise and removing the seeds and membranes. Grate the cheese and set it aside.

To assemble: spoon a liberal amount of stuffing into each halved poblano, firmly packing it into the pepper. Sprinkle the top with cheese and wrap each pepper with a slice of bacon (the thinner the bacon the more it will crisp in the oven. If you are using thicker bacon, consider partially frying it before wrapping the peppers). Repeat with the remaining peppers. Place in a glass baking dish sprayed with coconut oil or non stick spray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked (you may also turn the broiler on at the end to crisp things up, but just be sure to watch them so they don't burn).

Enjoy, and don't forget to use the leftovers for breakfast!

XOXO,
Jen











Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Rare Trip

Our recent return to chilly weather has me reminiscing to a few weeks ago. Not one to typically hate on anything, I rallied the troops and commandeered them all to grin and bear it. Cracking my "WE WILL HAVE FUN!" whip, I demanded no whining or complaining about negative degrees. This was all about being in the moment as a family, and I insisted we play in the beautiful snow that God gifts us rather than curse it. Determined to introduce my family to cross country skiing, we headed North.

We all commented on the ride up how strange it was to be back in the car together again.

When the kids were little with no extracurricular commitments, we made the trip to the cabin as a family no less than ten times a year. They were champion car riders. We hooked them up with the entire "Land of the Lost" series and their dad convinced them that he played Cha-Ka in the show. 
Being his first SAG card holder's role however, the notoriety became too overwhelming. People marveled at his Cha-Ka tales, to the point it distracted him in college during Pabst Blue Ribbon Bucket night at CO Daniels and his fraternity brothers consumed all of the beer before he got a chance to finish his first glass. As a result, he refrained from boasting further about his early acting career so he could consume his fare share of skunky smelling swill while his feet stuck firmly rooted to decades of filthy floor.
He had them going for awhile (our kids, that is) but they eventually wised up and called Bull Schnitzel.

Arrival night is still one of my favorite times in life. We open the doors of the truck to sensory overload, whether it's the blast of cold air and utter silence in the winter, spring peepers sounding off in the night in May, the lonely cry of the loon in summer or spooked deer bounding through the woods in the fall. The sights and sounds vary by season, but the scent that greets us remains constant. When we step out into our driveway, the unmistakable blast of fresh, crisp pine meets us with one singular feeling.

Home.

From there, regardless of the hour, a burst of energy hustles us down the steps to the cabin where we quickly unload our things, crank up the heat, pull the window coverings off and start a blazing fire. Once we unpack a few things, it's time to get down to business. When it's just us four, that means one thing. Music, drinks (White Cosmo Recipe here) and a game or two.
Thanks to my friend Kim for reminding me what a fun game Smart Ass is. Perfect for trivia loving folks who like a little comedic relief from stiff, boring Trivial Pursuit.

Day two arrived with the promise of a beautiful blue sky peeking through my bedroom window. Since the access to the snowmobile trails left plenty to be desired and we didn't feel like changing out the carbides on the sleds for one measly romp, we opted for the old fashioned kind of wintertime fun. 
Just sledding down a steep hill on a beautiful, sunshiny twelve degree day.
It lasted all of two or three trips down the hill...
...until Princess called it a day. She could no longer feel the skin on her face. 
See, the person in front of the sled gets a faceful of snow. You've probably noticed in every sledding picture, I'm not present. I'm the one snapping the photos. Or handing it over while I assume poser role.
I'm a wise old owl that way. After sledding, we did the only reasonable thing possible. We made out.
Heh heh. It is so fun to mess with teenagers. They hate it and cry "GROSS!" when we kiss.

After our five minute sledding excursion, we supported some Mom and Pop stores in Eagle River, then hit the local bar for some curds, brandy and euchre.
Because, Wisconsin. 

Later that night we visited an all time favorite, McGregor's Blink Bonnie Supper Club in St. Germain. We commented at the mounds of perfectly charred medium-rare filets left on our plates, declaring them breakfast worthy and happy we got three meals for the price of one. Mr. Musky and I lamented about the absence of doggie bags to transport beloved leftovers home. The kids had never heard of a doggie bag. Can you imagine? No foil lined, white paper bag for Fido? They were dumbfounded.

Well never fear. They're still somewhat in vogue, at least Up North. But I have to admit. My dogger will never taste the leftover goodness from Blink Bonnies because it comes home in a "People Bag." Even though the pooch on the baggie is doggone cute.
Day three found us at the Minocqua Winter Park. Giddiness seeped through my pores at the exciting possibility I might hook my family on cross country skiing. But I know them. And I know things. First up? Tubing. I needed to ease them into the outdoor winter workout idea.
My plan included getting them relaxed and having fun before kicking their butts with full body cardio. Mr. Musky provided entertainment for everyone when he disembarked from the tow at the hill. That laughing you hear? Not me. His kids are merciless.
After a few exhilarating spins down the hill, I declared it time to get to work. We started out on the trek, and it took .05 seconds for Princess to start complaining.

"I don't know what I'm doing. This is scary. How do I move forward? It's not working! I'm going to fall. I can't do this! What was I thinking? I should have stayed in the lodge. I'm not good at this. This is tricky."

The first few minutes found me very patient and offering her tips I learned during the lesson I took a few weeks earlier. Post the five minute mark though, I clammed up. I was NOT going to have my day ruined because my petulant teenager is a Type A control freak like her father, and can't handle the feeling of being out of control.

Meanwhile, the cocky ice skater in the group charged ahead and fell about ten times, popping back up and forging ahead. He falls on the ice occasionally and is used to an unsteady, slippery surface below his feet, so no big deal for the non-complainer of the group.

We took a shortened jaunt around the trails and sadly arrived to a closed tea house, so we trudged on back to the lodge. Our adventure lasted about 45 minutes, but it was just enough to whet the appetite of my favorite people. Princess declared it a success, saying she absolutely loved it and wants to go again. Her father and brother concurred.

In this case, silence was the best tutor. By letting them all figure it out alone after a few simple instructions, I got what I wanted - future cross country skiing pals.

The after party was the best part. My flight at the most adorable wine shop you ever did see was reward enough for a successful afternoon. My photobomber agreed.
But my satisfied, happy family beats anything ever in a glass, and I'm thrilled that we all found a new winter activity we can enjoy for years to come.

You hear that, my people? You love cross country skiing. And you can't wait to go again.

Spring Break is descending upon us, and I've got a few tricks up my sleeve despite the fact that we're staying put in the Midwest. Hopefully I can surprise a couple of unsuspecting teens who think they'll just sleep the week away.

And with that, I hereby declare Winter 2014-15 OVER despite the lingering snow patches outside my window. From here on out, I'm trading in the boots for open-toed shoes all day, every day.

Happy Spring!

XOXO,
Jen








Friday, March 20, 2015

Apéritif Friday - Paleo Brined Spatchcocked Chicken and Apricot Ginger Vodka Juice

Last Thanksgiving, a highly entertaining group text with four of my girlfriends ensued. It's how we coped with all manners of Turkey Day Drama: visiting mother-in-laws, failed ejector pits, husbands who split their pants while preparing the feast. To ease the pain, we all sipped cocktails before noon - quite possibly why Thanksgiving will always rule as the number one holiday in my book. It's when the world (or the United States, at least) pauses to drink, eat, and pass out. Or watch football, if that's what you're into.

We shared photos of our indulgences.
Mmmm. Aristocrat.
Mmmmm. Champagne.
Mmmmm. Rummy coffee drink by the fire pit. 
Whoops. One of these is not like the other.
I squealed in jealousy that my Mom was in charge of the bird and I couldn't go after it with some kitchen shears. Another friend had a different opinion. "That reminds me of something on American Horror Story: Freakshow."

Giggle giggle. She was right. This does look a bit...off. But the concept stayed with me. A flattened hunk of meat will surely roast more evenly and brown more nicely everywhere than it's rounded contemporary. Why, as a society, do we not flatten our poultry more often? Why do we instead stick cans of beer up the rear in the hopes of creating more even heat and effective roasting? Why not just butcher the back out of the darned thing, smash it flat and call it a day?

Let's all take a deep breath and collective sigh. Then say it with me. "SPATCHCOCK." What a fun word. I could say that all day long.

Spatchcock, Spatchcock, Spatchcock.

K. I'll stop now. But I'm still whispering it. And after we finally got around to trying it, the spatchcocked bird is now firmly rooted in the dinner rotation at Casa de Czupek. So much so that we've invited a neighbor and her daughter and any number of her umpteen canines over for dinner tonight for...you guessed it...

Paleo Brined Spatchcocked Chicken.

I've already got my bevvie picked out for tonight, too. I recently came across this gem at our local Mom and Pop produce store, Peter Rubi.
It looks even better next to a bottle o' Mr. Goose, in keeping with my poultry theme. I'm going to have to pace myself because the fizzy factor and slight amount of sugar in this herby fruit concoction will have me racing like Secretariat out of the gates, and I'd like to actually see 9:00 tonight.

Here's how we did it a few weeks ago when it was negative ridiculous degrees with my commentary on how to make things more efficient, so you can learn from my mistakes. You're welcome.

Paleo Brined Spatchcocked Chicken

2 Quarts very warm tap water
8 oz (weigh it!) Salt - I used Kosher
8 oz Honey
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 T Italian Herbs
30 peppercorns
4 Garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 lemons, halved and juiced
2 Whole, Hormone Free Organic Chickens (if you can find them. If not, I won't tell)
Poultry Rub, or Montreal Steak Seasoning (a salt, pepper, garlic combo)

Combine the first 9 ingredients in a large stockpot, stirring to dissolve the salt and honey. No need to boil over a stovetop! Just make sure your water is hot enough to dissolve the salt and honey.
While the brine comes to room temperature, prepare the chickens. Place them on a cutting board breast side down, and with sharp kitchen shears cut up one side of the backbone...
...then the other...
...to remove it completely. Discard the backbone or save it for homemade stock.
Ignore the herbs. We brined first, then spatchcocked. Don't be inefficient like us.
Open the bird up like a book, flip it over and press down on the breastbone to flatten it. The breastbone may or may not break depending on the size of your bird. Breakage is fine and encouraged.

If you're brine is still hot, throw some ice cubes into it to lower the temperature. Place the spatchcocked chickens into the cooled brine. You'll notice that the bird in this picture is not flayed open yet. Again, don't be like us. Cutting the bird open first will allow room for two chickens in one pot of brine.
Place a lid on the pot and store the chickens in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours.

Remove the chickens from the brine and rinse them thoroughly in cool water, then pat them dry with paper towels. Schmear the chicken with butter or ghee, then liberally apply the rub.
Forget about the fact that our chicken is halved. Mr Musky got kitchen shear happy and snipped the golldarned thing in half after he cut the backbone out. Not necessary.

Place the chicken on a wire rack over an aluminum foil lined sheet tray. Roast it in a 350 degree oven until the thigh meat near (but not touching) the bone is at 165 degrees. Our chicken was small, so it took about 30-35 minutes. BUT USE A THERMOMETER! You want juicy chicken, right? The only way to achieve perfect doneness is to use a thermometer. I promise.

Remove the meat from the oven and let it rest for ten minutes so the juices can redistribute.
We served this simply with buttered green beans. The protein really is the star of the show. Tonight we are having a simply grilled vegetable and a salad as the sides. I can't wait to try this off the grill and will edit this post over the weekend with an update on how we grilled it.

Enjoy your Friday, friends. Raise your glasses to the work SPATCHCOCK!

XOXO,
Jen

Friday, March 13, 2015

Apéritif Friday - Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts and White Cosmos

Hallelujah! The sun is out, doing it's job like a boss on the mounds of snow and frozen ground. I dug a path out to the gas grill this week so we could prepare weekday food our favorite way.

We grilled every night but one, and that was pizza night. Miller's annoyed though, because due to the piles of snow lingering on the deck, he has to watch us from inside the house. By tonight the rest should be gone so he can join us out there and drool all over us thanks to the smells emanating from the beautiful hunk of steel in the corner.

I didn't intend to post this one, but thanks to several comments on social media, over text and in person, I decided to give you all what you want - the recipe for Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts, which were basted with Sriracha Garlic BBQ sauce.
These gems were TO DIE FOR! The flavors worked together in harmony and created the perfect balance of savory and sweet. The prep time took about 15 minutes, and the cooking time about 40-45. So in an hour, you can have all your people raving and the dog's drool reaching impressive new heights.

First - you definitely need an Apéritif while grilling. I'm a little ashamed to say that we consumed alcoholic beverages nearly every night this week. When you go from freezing to beautiful 55 degree sunshine, it feels like mother nature is a big tease and she'll snap you back to freezing before you can shout "Nostrovia!" We sat like hillbillies in our driveway to soak in the sun a few nights just because it was there. And while I didn't drink the White Cosmo this week, I give it two thumbs up. So do the girlfriends, because this was one of two signature drinks I made back in February on our weekend getaway. 
They were divided - some enjoyed this one the most, and others voted for the Stoli Dolis. I like them both. If you prefer a slightly sweeter vs. bitter drink, then give this a try. It's still well balanced, and very drinkable, so consume with care. I closed winter out Up North a few weeks ago with one last White Cosmo while we played a game with the kids.
Smart Ass is a really fun trivia game that is suitable for all ages and moves quickly. Mr. Musky and I love playing trivia pursuit, but the kids get bored after about 1/2 hour. This game keeps us all interested, enough for two rounds.

I hope everyone is loving the warm up as much as we are. What's on your grill?

White Cosmo (inspiration from Bonefish Grill)
3-4 Frozen Cranberries
1.5 oz Berry or Cranberry Flavored Vodka
1/2 oz St. Germain Edlerflower Liqueur
1/2 oz Cointreau
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz White Cranberry Juice - difficult to find in IL grocery stores. You can substitute regular cranberry juice, but your finished drink will be red in color. If you use pure cranberry juice (unsweetened and without other juice blends), you may need to use some honey simple syrup to sweeten the drink and balance out the acidity.

Mix the liquid ingredients vigorously in a cocktail shaker filled with ice for a minute. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with the frozen cranberries.

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Sriracha Garlic BBQ Sauce

6 organic, hormone free, boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 slices good quality provolone cheese
6 jalapeno peppers, deseeded and sliced in half lengthwise
16 pieces bacon, nitrite and nitrate free
Kitchen twine
1/2 cup sriracha garlic bbq sauce

Butterfly the chicken breasts: with a very sharp knife, carefully slice the breasts in half being careful not to slice all the way through, and open the breast like a book into the shape of a butterfly. Place a piece of provolone cheese in the center of the chicken breast. Lay the jalapeño peppers on top of the provolone and carefully roll the the breast up into the shape of a tube. Wrap the chicken with two pieces of bacon and place aside. Repeat with the other breasts. I recommend tying the bacon in place with a couple of pieces of kitchen twine. We didn't do this, and remarked later that it would have helped to keep the bacon wrapped around the chicken.

Place the stuffed chicken rolls on a preheated 350 degree grill over direct heat. Turn the chicken to brown the bacon, then place them in an aluminum grilling pan over indirect heat. Bush them liberally with sauce and continue grilling over indirect heat until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees, reapplying sauce every 10-15 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your butterflied chicken; ours took approximately 45 minutes. We served these with roasted sweet potatoes (also grilled), and a crispy spinach / romaine salad with blue cheese, strawberries, apples and grapes tossed in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. I highly recommend those sides with the chicken. The lightness of the salad balanced the hearty protein and the caramelization of the sweet potato perfectly counterpointed the spicy zip of the sauce.

We used Trader Joe's Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce. If you have a TJs close to you - buy this. I promise you'll love it.
But if not, you can easily combine these ingredients to make your own tasty sauce. Start with 1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce, add a tablespoon of sriracha, microplane a garlic clove into it, and taste. Add more of whatever kicks your heels up. And if it's too spicy, add honey.

Enjoy!

XOXO,
Jen


Friday, March 6, 2015

Apéritif Friday - Stromboli and Alakai Wine

Have you ever seen a food item and thought, "Man. I gotta try that some day?" 

Lately I've morphed into a master list maker - of foods to make, drinks to concoct, books to read, movies to watch, and with a heatwave disguised in thirty degree weather, I've even made a list of outings and adventures to tackle between now and the beginning of summer.

Oh my ever loving, unsuspecting family. They don't even know what's in store for them.

Stromboli graced my "meal to take on" list for years before I finally did it. I mean, come on. Cured meat, gooey cheese, tangy sauce with a side of red wine? I could make a meal simply out of the solo ingredients, but when combined? And a little Caesar Salad on the side?
Fuggetaboutit.

The beauty of this meal is that it can be completely constructed from scratch or you can shortcut the heck out of it. Pressed for time? No sweat. Just pick up your favorite pre-made pizza dough and sauce at the store along with the other ingredients and you'll be diving into this savory cross between pizza and a calzone in no time. We opted for a simple apéritif on Stromboli night - Alakai wine by Joel Gott. I originally purchased this nectar in the Northwoods, then sent Mr. Musky back in the fall to buy a case of it. 

I nearly cried real tears when he came back with the wrong stuff.

A month later I found it at Whole Foods, and bought six bottles. Then went back to snatch up their last two.

Now I'm sobbing for real because I can't find it anywhere. If you see Alakai by Joel Gott - the red blend from 2011 - please buy a case and call me. I'll happily pay you a finder's fee!

This was, hands down, an all around family fave. Once my people read this post they're all going to be asking when we can have it again. I'd better get cracking on some dough. 

Stromboli

For the dough - makes two Stromboli crusts
4 cups all purpose flour
1 T active dry yeast
1.5 cups water at 115 degrees
1.5 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp kosher salt

Pour the flour into a large bowl and make a little well in the center. Dissolve the yeast into the water. Pour the water/yeast mixture into the well, and gently turning the bowl, combine the dry into the wet ingredients until a shaggy dough starts to form. Add the oil and salt, then knead the dough a few times until it becomes smooth. At this point, you may need to add a little more water or flour. I usually have to add a few more tablespoons of water, one at at time, to get the proper consistency. Coat the dough with a little oil, place plastic wrap over the top, and let it rise in a warm spot in your kitchen for at least 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can place it in the refrigerator to rise for at least five hours.

For the Sauce
1 medium shallot, quartered
4 medium to large garlic cloves, smashed
1/3 cup basil - loosely packed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tst red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
28 oz tomato puree
6 oz tomato paste (not pictured above - airhead moment)
1.5 T olive oil
1 T Honey

Combine the shallot, garlic and basil in a food processor and blend until chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust red pepper flakes, honey and olive oil to your liking. This makes an abundance of sauce and the leftovers freeze beautifully.

For the Stromboli
1 Onion, sliced
1 Green Pepper, sliced
1 Red Pepper, sliced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, sliced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
Sliced Capicola (we used hot)
Sliced Pepperoni
Sliced Provolone cheese
Shredded Asiago, mozzarella or monterey jack cheese
Fresh Basil Leaves
Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 T water)
Italian Seasoning (or dried oregano)
Cooking spray
Sauté the vegetables in your fat of choice (butter, olive oil, ghee) over medium heat until softened, season with salt and pepper, then cool. I didn't use NEARLY all of these vegetables, but cooked them all anyway because I wanted them for a vegetable frittata in the morning. You probably only need 1/4 of each pepper and onion, and 2 oz of mushrooms.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the dough in half with a pizza cutter. Pat it out, forming it into the shape of a rectangle, then place it on a piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top, and gently roll out the dough, from the center outward, into an approximate 9x13 inch rectangle. Thinly layer your ingredients...
...starting with the sauce, then the sliced provolone, followed by the capicola and pepperoni, the grated cheese, then at the end closest to you a row of basil. We made one with vegetables and one without - the sauteed peppers and onions go on as a layer before the grated cheese. Be sure to leave a border all around (about an inch), and a larger border furthest away from you (about 1.5 inches - see picture above - the end without the basil has a larger border).

With a pastry brush or your fingers, lightly coat the edges of the dough with egg wash. Then carefully roll the Stromboli, starting at the end closest to you, into a cylinder. Use the parchment paper to help you roll - peeling it off the dough as you roll the pastry. Roll it as tightly as possible. Pinch the ends closed, tuck them under, and ensure the horizontal seam is snug.
Place the Stromboli seam side down on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Brush it with the egg wash. Using a serrated knife, make diagonal vent cuts across the top and sprinkle with Italian Seasoning or oregano.
Repeat to make the other Stromboli. Let them rest for 20 minutes on the sheet pan.

Place them in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the Stromboli is bubbly and golden. Remove from the pan to cool - it is imperative that you let it cool for at least ten minutes so when you slice on the vented marks it doesn't all ooze out and make a big mess.
Serve with a crisp, Caesar salad and extra sauce for dipping. If you don't care for pepperoni and capicola? No big. You can substitute cooked Italian sausage, sliced turkey, ham, just cheese, whatever. There are no rules on the ingredients.
Enjoy, and Happy Friday!

XOXO,
Jen