Over the holidays, we entertained my cousins at our apartment — drinks and Wii. Who knew that Guitar Hero could be a competitive sport? But, what to make for dinner was the real question.

The Menu

Considering that the group fell between ages 21 and 28, I knew that simple food was the way to go; we needed something easy enough to make while still keeping the hostess-with-the-mostess title.

Ahh… stromboli. It’s like a pizza envelope of goodness and an easy way to please a crowd. Stromboli is so easy to make, easy to eat and has cheese. Lots of cheese.

The Methodology

The Dough: I have a rolling pin. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to use it for, so I try to avoid it. That’s why I love Pillsbury Pizza Crust. You pop it open and it rolls right out for you onto a cookie sheet, only needing one cut shortways. Each can makes two small strombolis for about three people.

The Cheese: I prefer a mix of provolone and mozzarella and buy the pre-shredded bag to save time. Sprinkle cheese over each section of rolled-out pizza dough.

The Fillings: Here’s where you can have a little fun. I went with my personal favorites, but try your own!

Spinach and Mushroom: Sautée sliced mushrooms with a little olive oil and Italian seasoning. Once they start to become tender, add spinach. As the spinach cooks down, it will start to weep, creating extra liquid in your pan. To avoid a soggy stromboli, strain the mixture before topping your dough. Still wet? Add a few bread crumbs. (Thanks for the tip, Mom!)

Steak and Cheese: I used the boxed cheesesteak (eg, Steak-Ums) that you find in the freezer section of your supermarket. Sautée for a few minutes over medium heat, adding some of your favorite seasonings, like red-pepper flakes or garlic salt. This would also be great with some green peppers or sautéed onions.

Pepperoni and Cheese: Need I say more? Layer the pepperoni on your bottom layer of cheese; repeat with cheese and repeat with pepperoni until you are satisfied.

Prepare: Once the fillings and cheese are on top of the dough, fold one side of the dough over the other. Pinch the edges together so your fillings don’t fall out. Slice a few slits on the top of the stromboli so the steam can escape, and while you’re there brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle with some garlic salt. Bake the stromboli in a pre-heated 425° oven for 10-12 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

The Results

With a nice salad, strombolis and tomato sauce for dipping, this was the perfect meal for our crowd!