If there is anything that sounded like it wouldn’t go together it’s Hoisin Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese. Even my boyfriend (and frequent taste tester) was less than enthusiastic.
“I guess that could work,” he told me skeptically. However, something still intrigued me about the Moo Shu Chicken Calzone recipe from The California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook.
Perhaps it’s the fact that ever since I discovered the pizza dough recipe for my favorite neighborhood pizza restaurant I’ve been on a pizza making kick. Or maybe it’s my challenge to myself to use up the many ingredients that have been hanging around my pantry and refrigerator since who knows when. (It’s amazing how many condiments one girl can collect.) But for whatever reason when I planned my menu for the week I knew this was one of the things I HAD to make.
The recipe features chopped chicken breast, an assortment of mushrooms (I used Enoki, Brown Beech, Shiitake, and Oyster Mushrooms), bean sprouts, and green onions with Mozzarella cheese and a Ginger-Hoisin Sauce.
One of the great things about this recipe is that you could easily make the pizza dough and other components a day ahead so when you arrive home from work and your stomach is screaming for dinner all you have to do is assemble and bake. I find this particularly helpful when cooking with my bf because while he loves home cooked food, he doesn’t always have the patience for lots of steps.
The verdict: this combination worked better than I expected, but it could have been because hardly noticed the cheese. Because I’ve been eating cheese-laden things like pizza more regularly lately I’ve tried to make a more conscious effort to be judicious in the amount of cheese I use. Generally I find this works pretty well on pizzas, but in the calzone the cheese seemed to get lost amidst the assertive flavors of Hoisin Sauce and woodsy mushrooms. Occasionally I’d get a tell-tale string of melted cheese in a bite, but otherwise I almost forgot I had included it.
Overall, I’m intrigued and would definitely like to make this recipe again. It would definitely be easy and fun to switch up the ingredients, for example tofu or shrimp for the chicken, not to mention make my own sauce from scratch.