, , , , , , , , , , ,

For the first five Saturdays during football season, I’ll be joining up with football aficionado and Inside The Iggles blogger, Bob Wankel, to prep you with all you need to kill it on game day: hot topics about this weekend’s upcoming NFL matchups and a baller recipe to impress the crowd. Dazzle friends and family with tasty treats, while impressing the boys with your knowledge of injury reports and point spreads. Who says you can’t do it all?

I have made Stromboli about 1000 different ways. I’ve made it with cheesesteak. I’ve made it with buffalo chicken. I’ve made it with whole wheat dough and veggies. Until this week, I was pretty sure I had exhausted every possible way to reinvent Stromboli. But as I sat in front of my empty refrigerator, a rarity that really only happens pre and post periods of intense travel schedules (sometimes for fun, usually for work, this time for a little of bothJ), the string cheese was just begging to be turned into something fabulous. And here enters this week’s snack and sacks recipe: Mini String Cheese Stromboli.

This recipe couldn’t be easier. I’m not even going to put directions, just photos. I’m not sure why I haven’t thought about making Stromboli in individual portions before. You get to have the doughy goodness of the ends and the greasy cheesey heaven of the middle without needing to consume 3 pounds of bread and cheese. Yum yum.

If you want to be fancy, you can follow my instructions for “braiding” the pizza dough to give it that pretty texture on the top. If you’re looking to make these in a hurry, you can just wrap the dough around the pepperoni and cheese and call it day. For this recipe, I made my own pizza dough. I love making my own because you can season it however you’d like (I just used garlic salt in mine) but mostly because I always seem to forget to buy it. I swear my grocery store tries to hide it. Put that stuff where I can see it! Come on. How am I supposed to know there is fresh pizza dough hidden under 50 tubs of hummus in the refrigerated bin? So I avoid the hassle nowadays and make it myself. It only requires a few ingredients and you can make it quickly, because pizza dough can get away without needing much time to rise. I’ll share the recipe in the future—it’s pretty basic. In the meantime, Google a pizza dough recipe or pick some pre-made dough from the grocery store and put your Stromboli making shoes on.

Like all of my Saturday snacks so far, these babies freeze and reheat just fine. So go ahead and make them today and pop them back in the oven tomorrow.

Happy football!

Know What’s Up: Week 4

Bob Wankel
Inside The Iggles
  1. Don’t worry, football fans. After three weeks of booing completely incompetent replacement officials we can now resume our booing of slightly more qualified ones. The league didn’t exactly melt in their labor dispute with NFL referees, but after Monday night’s debacle in Seattle the league likely had some added motivation to end the standoff. The regular officials were in place on Thursday night and, not surprisingly, there were no on-field brawls, coaches bumping officials, or blatant game-deciding plays completely botched. Moving forward, don’t expect the regular refs to be perfect though. After all, these are the same guys we’ve been cursing and complaining about for years.
  2. The game of the week takes us to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday night for the meeting between the Giants and Eagles. The importance of the game can’t be overstated for the Eagles. This is the week that Vick needs to take what’s there and successfully make something happen when it’s not. This is the game where his coach has to give the quarterback a chance with a real game-plan, not play action fakes, 12-yard drops, and go routes play after play. It’s probably true that if Vick plays poorly, he’ll still be the starter next week. And it’s probably true that if the Eagles lose, they’ll still have plenty of time to rebound and make the playoffs. But it’s time for Vick to put up and make a statement that this team is a legit contender. My sense is that he will do just that. We’ll see.
  3. If by some off chance you still happen to be alive in a survivor pool, take the Packers. When the schedule came out in August it appeared this weekend’s tilt between the Saints and Packers would be one of the season’s most entertaining and most important games. I suppose there is a chance that it may still be entertaining, but it’s hardly important at this point, at least for a New Orleans team that is an abysmal 0-3. The Saints can’t stop the pass, they can’t stop the run, they make critical mistakes on offense that kill would-be scoring drives. They just aren’t the same team we’ve been accustomed to watching over the past few years. And for some reason we’re all surprised by this. Drew Brees’ holdout, Sean Payton’s full-season suspension, and the multiple-game suspensions of assistant coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis have obviously thrown the Saints out of whack. Green Bay, meanwhile, should be foaming at the mouth after having a game stolen from them on Monday night. This could get ugly.

The Ingredients

Yields 12 mini Stromboli
1 lb Pizza Dough
12 individually wrapped string cheese sticks
60 pieces of pepperoni
Olive Oil
Kosher salt

The Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Divide pizza dough into 12 pieces. Roll out each piece. Top with pepperoni and string cheese. Roll dough around filling or use braided technique below. Put mini Stromboli on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Top with kosher salt and parsley. Bake for 15-20 or until tops are lightly browned. Picture tutorial below. J