It’s that warm and fuzzy time between Christmas and New Year’s, which can only mean one thing: It’s time for the Jolly Tomato family’s annual Stromboli Bowl.
A stromboli, in case you’re not familiar with this delectable treat, is basically a pizza that gets rolled up like a jelly roll before you bake it. Each year our family has a lively stromboli competition in which everyone, young and old, comes up with a creative stromboli filling and then submits their finished product before an impartial panel of judges (OK, one judge). In past years, we’ve had winners ranging from a Cuban-style stromboli to a Moroccan stromboli.
For 2013 the entries included:
1. Tomato basil (Joan)
2. Brie, Granny Smith apples, and bacon (Chef Joe)
3. Chicken, provolone, mustard greens and onions (Joe/Dad/Grandpa)
4. Chicken, pesto, and onion (Dave)
5. Cheese steak with peppers and onions (Luke, age 10)
6. Chicken nuggets, spaghetti, lettuce, tomato, and cheese (Zach, age 6)
7. “Drunken” red wine mushrooms and provolone (Jeanne)
8. Taco-seasoned ground beef with nacho cheese and tortilla chips (Lily, age 8)
9. Bison & duck bacon with duck and veal demi-glace (Sam, age 10)
10. Roast pork & pigeon pea rice (Sara)
And the winners were… Most creative: Sam’s bison stromboli. Grand prize: Joe/Dad/Grandpa’s chicken with mustard greens stromboli. But there were quite a few crowd favorites. Lily’s taco stromboli, for instance, was completely demolished as people were practically tripping over themselves to get seconds.
Of course it’s always fun to make your own dough (see the recipe printed in the 2011 story), but for the past two years we’ve given ourselves a head start by ordering a bunch of pizza dough from the pizzeria down the street. If you’re making stromboli at home, remember that just about anything tastes good in a stromboli; adding some sauce or cheese improves the texture. Tip: When you roll up the stromboli, make sure you wrap it tightly to eliminate any air pockets. Then bake it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Does anyone else have oddball family traditions? Do tell! And happy holidays to our Jolly Tomato readers!