A little over 15 years ago, Picasso’s owner Andrew Albert graduated from Lake Highlands High School and took off to be a musician. When he was in town, he worked at this little pizza place to pick some extra money. In 1993 … he bought it.

 

“When I got married, I discovered I actually needed to … feed my family,” laughs Albert. “So I took his pizza recipe, which was really good but not great, and changed it to use quality ingredients. Everything else we’ve added ourselves and kept it all homemade — the Alfredo sauce, the guacamole.”

 

These days the extensive Picasso menu includes appetizers such as their popular fried mushrooms; salads, Caesar to Greek; soups, tortilla to tomato florentine; burgers and sandwiches — meatball, Italian sausage, chicken; pastas and calzones (Albert says the lasagna is popular); a startling array of desserts as exotic as Strawberry La Bomba; and, of course, lots of pizza. For the latter, you have your choice of crust styles and literally dozens of toppings, not to mention the option of substituting Alfredo sauce, ricotta cheese or garlic butter basil sauce for red sauce.

 

The next steps up for Picasso’s are a new patio and valet parking — part of their plan to make the eatery as date-friendly as it has been family-friendly. Albert credits their loyal Lake Highlands following for Picasso’s expansion and continued success, and says this is why he has chosen to be so supportive of the high school and other community activities.

 

“We have absolutely the best customers in the world,” he says. “We are here today because of word of mouth. If not for the Lake Highlands crowd, like the high school mothers — the Lake Highlands community at large — boy, we wouldn’t be anywhere.

 

“They put us where we are.”

 

 

 

Picasso’s • 11300 Audelia • 214-553-8100

 

 

 

CALZONES

 

 

 

Calzones are versatile, much like sandwiches that you can stuff any way you want — from pepperoni to shrimp to vegetables. If you don’t like ricotta cheese, you can use pizza sauce, which turns a calzone into a stromboli. Many people use a red sauce to dip or op a calzone, as does Picasso’s.

 

 

 

4 tsp. active dry yeast

 

2 Tbs. salt

 

1 1/2 Tbs. sugar

 

1.75 oz. water

 

4 oz. vegetable oil

 

4 lbs. Flour

 

 

 

Main Stuffings

 

Ricotta cheese

 

Whole milk mozzarella

 

Whole milk provolone

 

Oregano

 

Grated parmesan

 

 

 

Note: This recipe makes a good amount of dough, but making it in smaller amounts yields a dough that is much less consistent.

 

 

 

Activate the yeast in water that is warm but not hot. Add everything by the flour and mix. Then add flour and mix thoroughly; you can use a mixer if you have one sufficiently large — otherwise do it by hand. Let the dough rise for 45 minutes in a warm area.

 

 

 

Preheat your oven to 450.

 

 

 

Roll the dough out with a pin into 10” circles, approximately the same thickness as a pie shell. On one half of each circle, leaving a 1/2” margin on the outside, spread ricotta cheese and then add a little mozzarella and provolone along with your choice of fillings, such a pepperoni. Be creative. Sprinkle with parmesan and oregano.

 

 

 

Flip the empty dough side over the toppings side and seal as you would a pie (with, for instance, fork tins). Slice the top of the dough with a sharp knife so that heat and moisture can escape.

 

 

 

Place the calzones on the middle rack of the oven; watch closely and remove as soon as golden brown.

 

 

 

Baste with garlic butter if you choose. Be careful — the insides are very hot. Slice to cool and serve.