Italian layer bake

So remember, like, a week ago when parts of New Jersey got decimated by Hurricane Sandy? Well, now we’ve got a nor’easter on our hands. I wasn’t quite ready for the snowy weather, especially considering all my scarves and gloves are in my storage unit and my favorite pair of boots just fell apart. But, ready or not, the snow is here and I’ve already lost feeling in my poorly circulated feet.

A little silver lining to this shoddy weather is it makes a nice, warm meal even more rewarding. This Italian layer bake requires a bit of time at the deli counter, but makes a nice meaty little meal for the middle of the week when you want to eat something toasty and curl up in a ball.

By the way, I have to gripe about my experience at the deli. The service was great — no doubt — but the guy at the counter called me ma’am about 17 times, and we were probably the same age. I’m 27 and get carded for rated R movies. You should be calling me “miss.” And if the way I look doesn’t warrant a youthful epithet, the fact that I giggled uncontrollably when I told him I wanted “hard salami” should have.

adapted from mr. food
1 (8 pz.) container of Pillsbury crescent rolls
♦1/4 lb. thinly sliced deli turkey
♦1/4 lb. thinly sliced deli smoked ham
♦1/4 lb. sliced deli hard salami
♦1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
♦3/4 of a 12-oz jar roasted red peppers
♦3 eggs, beaten
♦Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll crescent dough, but instead of separating into triangles, separate into two squares along the center perforation. In an 8×8-inch baking dish, press out one square until it meets the edges of the dish. Using half of each meat quantity, layer turkey, then ham and then salami evenly in the dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. cheese and half amount of peppers. Pour half the beaten egg over peppers, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Repeat layering a second time (meat, cheese, peppers) — using the remainder of ingredients — then add second dough square on top of the peppers and pour remaining egg over, plus another dusting of Italian seasoning

Cover with pitched tinfoil (really pitch it, too, because mine touched down on the uncooked dough and made a tiny mess), and bake for 20 minutes. Remove tinfoil and bake for another 20 to 22 minutes, until golden brown. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes or you’ll get a sloppy serving. Delicious — yes, but sloppy.

Total time? 15 minutes prep, 40 minutes bake.
Cost? $2.39 crescent rolls, about $8 deli meat, $2 shredded cheese, $3.29 roasted red peppers.
Overall success relative to expectations? 8 out 10. I saw this recipe on Pinterest and — despite not being a “meat person” — I was salivating. I really enjoyed the meal, but next time, I’d make it a one-layer bake spread over a larger surface area. The layers slid apart during serving and eating, which didn’t make it taste any less awesome, but I was reconstructing between bites for optimum awesomeness. Still, this is an easy concept with endless possibilities (pepperoni/mozz, tomato/mozz/basil, roast beef/cheddar). You’ll see this one again sometime.

2 thoughts on “Italian layer bake”

    1. Thanks for visiting!

      I used one fewer egg from the original recipe because four seemed like a lot from the get-go. (I actually didn’t use every drop of the three eggs either.) Definitely prevented it from being a soggy mess. I would have liked it to be slightly crisper, so you might even be good with two-egg range — one per layer — as long as it’s evenly distributed.


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