Carbs & Rec: French Fry Pizza-That-Is-Harder-To-Eat With a Side of Ranch Dressing

September 12th, 2014 12:03 pm by Kelly Garbato

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Carbs & Rec - French Fry Calzones With Ranch (0017)

Ben Wyatt and calzones. If there’s one ship I ship harder than Leslie and waffles, this would be it. (I’m totes playing it cool here. BEN + CALZONES 5EVAH!)

Calzones first make a cameo in the episode “Ron & Tammy: Part Two.” In a last-ditch effort to make the Harvest Fest happen, the Parks & Rec crew resort to bribery a la a pizza party in order to convince the police department to provide free security for the event. Ben suggests calzones, thus leading to a running gag about calzones being disgusting and pointless (the worst food ever invented!), much to his chagrin. (Quoth the Police Chief: “What the hell is wrong with this guy?”)

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That gifset is pretty awesome, but so is Amy’s delivery, so here it is again in video form:

I SAID GOOD DAY!

After their epic debut, calzones continue to pop up now and again; for example, in the Season 4 episode “The Comeback Kid,” Ben finds himself out of a job, with no idea what to do next. He dives into a few ill-advised hobbies: making a claymation video that, when finished, runs all of three seconds – and contemplating a calzone franchise called – wait for it –

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Needless to say, the idea was dead on arrival. This is Pawnee, after all, where a) nothing is low-cal and b) calzone lovers are treated like pariahs.

Later on, Ben is violently assaulted by a batch of bad calzones;

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he and the guys come down with a pretty nasty case of food poisoning after testing out caterers for his upcoming nuptials.

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But wait! So much food was consumed that day! How can you be sure that calzones were the culprits?

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In that case.

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Ben even made it official by breaking up with them on his Wiki page.

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Luckily, the two reconcile later on; when Ben accepts a job with an accounting firm (then quits, then comes back, then quits again – how can you not feel sorry for those poor nerds?), they welcome him not with pizza, BUT WITH CALZONES.

I would work there for free, people.

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When I settled on a Parks & Rec theme, I knew at once that I HAD to make a calzone. And in a flavor I’d never attempted before, because these hot, gooey pockets of pizza mean THAT MUCH to me. (I am a calzone woman all the way.)

Enter: Texts from Pawnee.

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And the French Fry Calzone with Ranch Dressing was born.

It’s got hot, melty cheddar Daiya cheese.

Carbs & Rec - French Fry Calzones With Ranch (0003)

Red onions. Crispy, twice-baked french fries with extras for snacking.

Carbs & Rec - French Fry Calzones With Ranch (0020)

Hot, saucy red….err, sauce. And a side of ranch dressing for dipping.

Carbs & Rec - French Fry Calzones With Ranch (0012)

What do you have to say about calzones now, Leslie Knope?

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The recipe’s kind of a no-brainer, but here it is anyway, just in case your head has exploded from all the romantic plot twists and gooey hot calzone action.

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Considering the roller coaster ride that has been this post, I would not be surprised if a few of you have already dissolved into quivering piles of feelings.

French Fry Calzones with Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

…for a Fluffy White Pizza Crust

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

…for the toppings

French fries
Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan
Cheddar Daiya Cheese
1/2 a red onion, diced
Ranch dressing (I used the recipe in Lane Gold’s Vegan Junk Food)

Directions

1. To prepare the dough: stir the water, sugar and yeast together until dissolved. Add the olive oil and salt, as well as any extra spices or seasonings. Stir in the flour until blended. Form the dough into a small ball and let rest in large bowl, covered loosely with a towel, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

2. About a half hour before you want to assemble your pizza, line a 9″x13″ baking sheet with frozen, pre-made french fries. Cook according to the instructions on the package, stopping about five minutes before they’re done. You want them cooked, but not overly done. Set aside to cool.

3. When you’re ready to assemble and bake your pizza, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

4. As the oven’s heating, line two pizza stones or cookie sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into two equal balls. Spread each ball of dough into a 10″ circle on the parchment paper. Pat the dough, spreading it out evenly.

5. When you’re done shaping the dough, add the toppings. Start with a generous base of sauce, only spreading it onto one half of the circle. Next, add the cheese, onions, and french fries. You’ll use about 3/4 of the cookie sheet in total. The leftovers are great for dipping – or, for an extra-carby calzone, stuff them into the hollow created by the rising dough after cutting the finished calzone open!

6. Carefully fold the naked half of the circle over that with the toppings, taking care to crimp and seal the edges shut.

7. Bake at 425 degrees, for between 15 and 20 minutes for a single pizza, or 30 minutes for two pizzas.

8. Serve with a side of ranch dressing for dipping. Inwardly curse the Pawneee Police Department for their anti-calzone prejudice. Have the last laugh (and maybe a resounding burp or two.) Calc U Later.

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10 Responses to “Carbs & Rec: French Fry Pizza-That-Is-Harder-To-Eat With a Side of Ranch Dressing”

  1. Carbs & Rec: French Fry Pizza-That-Is-Harder-To-Eat With a Side of Ranch Dressing | The <spb> Says:

    […] Carbs & Rec: French Fry Pizza-That-Is-Harder-To-Eat With a Side of Ranch Dressing » V for Vegan…. […]

  2. Jojo Says:

    Good lard! This is freaking awesome, I’m ginuwine-ly tempted to come & live with you for the rest of the month so that I can partake in this deliciousness!

  3. Kelly Garbato Says:

    Just wait until we get to the obligatory mac & cheese pizza!

  4. VeganMoFo 2014 – Cheesy Friday Round Up | VeganMoFo Says:

    […] a huge Parks & Rec fan I have been excitedly devouring Easy Vegan‘s Carb’s and Rec theme and this French Fry Pizza with a side of ranch / ridiculous […]

  5. Mary Says:

    OMG, this is my favorite blog post in the entire world.

  6. Hannah Says:

    Yes yes yes yes yes! Omg yes. So I’ve been contemplating making a pizza with a french fry crust, but I wasn’t sure about it. Now I have to because you’ve proven the theory that french fries + pizza-y things = yes.

  7. Janyce Denise Glasper Says:

    OMG!!!!!! I wanna laugh and stuff my face at the same time! I want a calzone French fry pizza RIGHT NOW!

  8. Corrin Radd Says:

    This is a ridiculous thing so of course I made it. It’s good!

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