a-to-z-letters-sHas anyone watching or even visiting tried Stromboli?  Not what you can find at your local pizza place (mom and pop places excluded, they would know), but real Stromboli?  If not, then you are missing out on what I think is one of the best baked sandwiches ever invented.

I’m not positive if it is an Italian thing or something made up here in America, but, to me, it is better than chocolate cake when my birthday rolls around.  Or, just for that everyday special because it’s a good day.  My days always improve when this is pulled out of the oven nice and golden brown, hot and little peeks of the cheese and meats inside trying to escape.

The aroma is out of this world.  Nuff said.

For those not in the know, Stromboli is a baked sandwich containing several kinds of meats layered with provalone or mozzarella cheeses, tomatoes, onions, and a splash of marinara or other sauce then baked for about a half hour.  It’s best when the dough is hand made, especially if the dough is one of several types designed for pizza.

There really is no strict recipe for Stromboli.  The ingredients can vary from person to person.  But there are some things which stay the same throughout.  But, if you want a good one, you’ve got to bribe my mom to get her to make one for you.  Hers is probably one of the best around.  Mine comes in at a close 5th since I don’t make it as often. (It isn’t easy to get out in the middle of ice storms when your birthday falls during the height of cold in OK.)

On to the recipe!

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Ingredients

Frozen or homemade dough

Tomato sauce (marinara or plain out of the can)

Half pound of ham sliced thin (I prefer the Black Forest brand)

Half pound of bologna sliced thin(beef or pork not the mystery mix)

Half pound of salami sliced thin

Half pound of pastrami sliced thin

8 oz of shredded mozzarella

Half pound of provalone sliced thin

2 tomatoes sliced thin

8 oz sliced mushrooms

1 red onion sliced thin (you can use yellow or white)

Directions

Preheat over to 375

Spread dough out on a large cookie sheet into a rough rectangle shape.  Starting from about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches from the edge, spread your sauce down the middle long ways.  Add as much as you want of the sauce but be careful, baking produces a lot of extra fluid.  Lay down one layer of provalone, about half of the package.  Layer your meats one at a time, overlapping the edges until all is used.  Sprinkle the mozzarella on top of the meat then place a layer of tomatoes, the onion, then the mushrooms.  Put the rest of the provalone on top.

Fold in carefully the ends of the dough.  It’s okay if they can’t cover the fillings very well.  Bring up the top and bottom, crimping them together so they won’t open.  Be sure you don’t tear the dough or you’ll have a lot of lost cheese and fluid on the pan while cooking.  Make sure the ends are worked securely into the crimped top to prevent spillage.  If you want, brush the top with an egg wash or sprinkle on some garlic or Parmesan before baking.

Place on a middle rack and let bake for about 20 to 30 minutes or until top is a nice golden brown color.  Do not let it burn.  Allow the Stromboli to stand for about 5 minutes then slice into 1 to 2 inch portions and serve.

This can make 2 Strombolis.

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